Holder has steadfastly denied that he knew about the details of Fast and Furious, even as the botched operation has slowly built into the biggest test yet of his political survival skills. A steady stream of Fast and Furious revelations has turned the Holder Justice Department into a symbol, to some, of the failures of the Obama administration.
On Wednesday, more questions emerged about the role of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, one of Holder's top deputies, and whether Mr. Breuer knowingly misled Congress when he allegedly signed off on a draft of a May 2 letter stating that allegations that the ATF had lost track of any guns were “false.” The department recanted that letter last week, citing “inaccuracies,” and also apologized to congressional staffers for one official calling them, in a note, “stooges for the gun lobby.”
Those missteps and walk-backs, added to the Justice Department's reluctance to voluntarily allow key employees to talk to congressional investigators, have only fueled conspiracy theories among gun owners. Chief among them: Fast and Furious was an Obama administration ploy to goose border violence in order to propose more gun control legislation under the guise of curtailing the flow of arms from north to south.
“Public outrage comes from average Americans who cannot understand why their very own government would intentionally allow criminals to illegally buy weapons for trafficking into Mexico,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa told the Senate Wednesday as he called for Breuer's resignation.