GOP critics cranked up the political heat Thursday on Attorney General Eric Holder, threatening impeachment and accusing him of withholding information from Congress about Operation Fast and Furious, a severely flawed and discredited federal gun-sting program.
At the end of a long, combative day of testimony before the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee, California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa compared Holder to disgraced Nixon-era Attorney General John Mitchell.
Holder shot back by comparing Issa to Sen. Joe McCarthy, the infamous Wisconsin Republican censured by the Senate in 1954 for leading what critics called a Communist witch hunt.
"As they said in the McCarthy hearings, have you no shame?" asked Holder, referencing a famous retort to McCarthy.
Holder acknowledged mistakes were made, but said he would not resign over the controversy. The attorney general, accusing the GOP of playing political games, said he also didn't think any of his top aides should step down.
Operation Fast and Furious, which started in 2009, allowed illegally purchased firearms to be taken from gun stores in Arizona across the Mexican border to drug cartels. The intent of the operation was to monitor the flow of weapons to their ultimate destination.
However, hundreds of weapons were lost or unaccounted for, and a storm of outrage erupted when two of the missing weapons were found at a site where Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010.
Democrats and Republicans have since been at odds over who knew what about the operation and when.
Wisconsin GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner told Holder Thursday that "heads should roll" over the matter.
Full article can be found here.