Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority Whip McCarthy:
We write to you as freshman members of the House Judiciary Committee to urge you to bring a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder to the House Floor for a vote.
Eric Holder was the Attorney General when U.S. border patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed by criminals using guns linked to Operation Fast and Furious. As the head of the Department of Justice, he is responsible for all activities within the Department. However, instead of cooperating with a Congressional investigation and accepting responsibility, he continues to thwart the investigation and protect high level officials. As the Supreme Court has established, it is within Congress's authority to investigate and engage in congressional hearings. The arrogance of evading a congressional investigation for self protection and the protection of cronies insults not only the Terry family but also all those whose lives are endangered by allowing guns to knowingly cross the U.S. border into the hands of dangerous criminals.
An operation as flawed as Fast and Furious must never happen again. As Congress continues to diligently uncover facts, Attorney General Holder has consistently blocked such efforts. When testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on May 3, 2011, Attorney General Holder stated that he had learned of Operation Fast and Furious weeks prior to the hearing. However, when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee over six months later, he admitted that his previous testimony before the House committee was inaccurate and he had known of the Operation months prior to the hearing. Withholding pertinent information is not only damaging to the credibility of the Department but also puts American and Mexican lives at risk. Furthermore, Attorney General Holder has continually failed to produce thousands of valuable documents that have been requested by both the Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. When documents are produced, many are redacted beyond recognition. We should not allow Attorney General Holder's failure to do his job prevent us from doing ours. We have a duty to the American people that must be fulfilled.
To date, 111 Members of Congress have cosponsored a resolution expressing no confidence in the Attorney General of the United States. In addition, 128 Members of Congress and three senators have called for the Attorney General's resignation due to his failed leadership in overseeing Operation Fast and Furious and his attempts to shield himself, and the rest of his department from accountability.
The House of Representatives has seen its proper oversight function thwarted and obstructed. It's time for the House to formally recognize the obvious -- that Attorney General Holder has not and will not cooperate with the legitimate investigation launched by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and is therefore in contempt of Congress.
Rep. Ben Quayle, Rep. Trey Gowdy, Rep. Sandy Adams, Rep. Dennis Ross,
Rep. Tim Griffin, Rep. Tom Marino