Attorney General Eric Holder sparred yesterday with Republican members of Congress who demanded to know why Justice Department officials haven't been fired over the Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and the botched prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, reports Politico. During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, legislators complained that the Justice Department's response to both episodes has been too timid, and officials who engaged in misconduct have gotten away with a slap on the wrist or less.
The hearing, like several others involving Holder, was dominated by discussion of Fast and Furious. While much of Congress has been in a frenzy over leaks of classified national security secrets, that subject was barely broached at the Judiciary Committee. The fieriest exchange came when House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked if the Justice Department had gathered information on Fast and Furious that officials decided not to turn over to Congress. As Holder began to describe what DOJ had provided, Issa cut him off. “Mr. Attorney General, you're not a good witness. A good witness answers the question asked,” Issa thundered. Holder said his department has turned over 7,600 pages of records to Congress. “Look, I don't want to hear about the 7,600 pages,” Issa interjected.