House Republicans are going to call for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General Holder perjured himself during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious, Fox News has learned.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is sending a letter to President Obama arguing that Holder cannot investigate himself and will request a probe by a special counsel.
The question is whether Holder committed perjury during a Judiciary Committee hearing in May. At the time, Holder indicated he was not familiar with with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program known as Fast and Furious.
Judiciary’s call for special counsel comes after documentation surfaced yesterday that indicated Holder was getting weekly briefs on Operation Fast and Furious, and that senior Justice Department executives were well aware that these operations were walking guns into Mexico.
So far, Holder’s PR defense is that he didn’t understand the following question: “When did you first hear about Operation Fast and Furious?”
President Barack Obama now finds himself in a complicated predicament at a time which already marks the low point of public opinion regarding his performance, and as his hopes of re-election fade. If Obama opposes the appointment of a special prosecutor for the perjury investigation (and by extension, Operation Fast and Furious and other alleged gunwalking operations), he immediately saddles his campaign with questions of obstructing a lawful and legitimate call for an independent investigation. Operation Fast and Furious will immediately become a key story for the 2012 campaign, though it has so far been largely ignored by the media.
Likewise, President Obama seems to be in danger if he does choose to appoint a special prosecutor. Evidence to date — including direct communications between the ATF special agent running Operation Fast and Furious and White House staffers — seems to indicate that the White House was well aware of these gunwalking operations. If evidence surfaces that directly implicates President Obama himself, then a failed reelection bid may be the least of his worries.