Life goes on outside of the 2012 race, and Holder is being excoriated there as well. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa used his strongest language yet yesterday, stopping just short of calling him a criminal:
These firearms were not interdicted. They were not stopped. Your agents allowed these firearms purchases to continue, sometimes even monitoring them in person, and within days some of these weapons were being recovered in Mexico. Despite widespread knowledge within its senior ranks that this practice was occurring, when asked on numerous occasions about the veracity of this letter, the Department has shockingly continued to stand by its false statement of February 4, 2011.
Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean to the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.
Issa’s letter mirrors the thoughts of other public officials and an increasing number of media figures. An unsigned op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner cites the constantly changing series of excuses from the Department of Justice, and calls for Holder to fire his aides or be fired himself.
Writing in the Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen described Holder as “Obama’s albatross,” and ripped his entire tenure as U.S. attorney general as a series of catastrophic failures.
David Zurawik noted in the Baltimore Sun that the administration’s handing of the gunwalking scandal shows contempt for “real reporters” that actually ask the hard questions. This was a criticism of both the White House and the majority of mainstream media outlets that have done everything in their power to minimize or ignore the story — when they weren’t posting political hatchet jobs on behalf of the administration, as the New York Times and Washington Post have both done.
Issa continues to ramp up the pressure on Holder and the Department of Justice, and may issue subpoenas as early as today. Subpoenas would call on Holder to turn over documents he’s so far withheld, to testify under oath again in front of Congress, and would also request communications about the plot from over a dozen senior DOJ employees that may have been involved.