Sen. Cornyn Tells Holder: 'Resign'

By Fred Lucas | June 12, 2012 | 12:09 PM EDT

Attorney General Eric Holder (AP Photo/J.Scott Applewhite)

( – Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Attorney General Eric Holder he should resign for reasons that included his failure to cooperate with Congress's investigation of Operation Fast and Furious in which the administration allowed straw purchasers to buy guns for Mexican drug cartels. 

“You’ve violated the public trust, in my view, by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office,” Cornyn told Holder on Tuesday, when Holder appeared before the Judiciary Commitee. “So, Mr. Attorney General, it’s more with sorrow and regret than anger that you leave me with no alternative than to join those who call on you to resign your office. Americans deserve an attorney general who will be honest with them.”

In his response, Holder said that Cornyn’s remarks contained “breathtaking inaccuracies.”

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“I don’t have any intention of resigning,” Holder said. “I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don’t have any reason to believe that that is not the case.”

The House Oversight and Government Reform committee, which has been investigating Operation Fast and Furious, plans to vote June 20 on whether to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to provide more than 100,000 subpoenaed documents pertaining to a botched gun-sting investigation.

As part of Fast and Furious, a Justice Department program that began in September 2009, law enforcement knowingly allowed about 2,000 U.S. guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels. The intention was to track the weapons and make arrests. However, law enforcement lost track of most of the weapons. The program was halted in December 2010 after two weapons from the program were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Already, more than 100 House Republicans have called on Holder to step down.

Cornyn also complained that Holder will not appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate national security leaks, and he criticized Holder for taking legal actions against states that have passed voter ID laws.

"So Mr. Attorney General, I’m afraid we’ve come to an impasse," Cornyn said. "The leaking of classified information represents a major threat to our national security. Your office faces a clear conflict of interest yet you won’t appoint a special counsel. You won’t support a truly independent investigation and you won’t take the threat seriously."

"Meanwhile you still resist coming clean about what you knew and when you knew it with regard to Operation Fast and Furious," said the senator. "You won’t cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation, and you won’t hold anyone, including yourself, accountable. Your department blocks states from implementing attempts to combat voter fraud."

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