(CNSNews.com) – “If I were the president of the United States, I would find a way for Eric Holder to step down, and it would be characterized as a firing,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told Fox News on Thursday.
King suggested it would be better for President Obama to fire Attorney General Holder rather than let the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal blow up in Obama’s face right before the election:
“And as more of this unfolds – and I think there is substantially more – you remember that September 19 is kind of the date that bad things happen before elections,” King said.
“I don’t think that (Rep.) Darrell Issa is planning a date like that…but as this moves forward, and I’m the president of the United States, I’d be very worried that this comes to a crescendo sometime before September 19 of this year.
“For those reasons, if I were the president, I would remove Eric Holder from the target zone here – put somebody else in who’s determined to clean this up. I would dump all this information out in the public and just come clean and put it behind me,” King said. “That’s what any responsible public official would do.”
King said there’s a “high level of determination” on the part of Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to “get to the bottom” of the ATF’s guns-to-Mexico scheme – and who at Holder’s Justice Department knew about it.
Issa -- chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee -- told CNSNews.com last year he believes the Justice Department is covering up information relevant to a congressional investigation of the "Fast and Furious" operation.
As part of that operation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- a division of the Justice Department -- knowingly allowed intermediaries of Mexican drug cartels to purchase guns at licensed firearms dealers in the United States. The guns were supposed to be tracked back to the cartels, but the ATF tracking failed and most of the guns were never retrieved.
Two of those guns were found at the were found at the scene of U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry’s murder in Arizona in December 2010.
At a Feb. 2 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa accused the Justice Department of being "less than forthcoming in cooperating with the efforts of Congressional investigators to determine exactly what happened and who was responsible" for Operation Fast and Furious.
"There is now broad bipartisan agreement that the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has exposed a serious and deadly failure of government," Issa told the committee. "We know that the life of a brave Border Patrol agent has been lost along with countless Mexican citizens who have been victimized by guns from Operation Fast and Furious. Attorney General Holder has acknowledged that the danger created by Fast and Furious will continue for years."
In his opening statement, Holder called the gun-running "wholly unacceptable," and he insisted that he shut down the operation "when I learned early last year about the allegations raised by ATF agents involved with Fast & Furious."