Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday joined a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to resign for withholding information from Congress regarding the Justice Department’s handling of Operation “Fast and Furious.”
Asked by reporters whether Holder should go, Rubio said, “Yes, I do at this point I do. I think we’ve now reached the point of no return on this issue.”
“I think they’ve been given multiple opportunities to answer very legitimate questions that the Congress has,” Rubio said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “We know for a fact that something they told the Congress was not true. And now, I think it’s very legitimate for the Congress to inquire as to why we were told something that wasn’t true. And they refuse to provide materials to prove that.”
“I think invoking executive privilege at the eleventh hour yesterday was probably the last straw in that regard,” Rubio, considered a leading contender to be Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate, added later. “I think we’re now at the point of no return. I don’t know how the attorney general can continue to exercise that office with any level of credibility after the decision that was made yesterday.”
Rubio said House Republicans should press forward with the contempt vote despite the GOP’s hope to keep primarily focused this summer on economic issues.
“This was a major mistake made by the Justice Department and the folks who administered this program and I think one of the roles of Congress is to have oversight over decisions such as this,” he said. “If you refuse to provide information to allow Congress to play that role, it really undermines the principles of our republic and the separation of powers and the role that Congress plays. So, yeah, the economy will continue to be the dominant issue, but it doesn’t mean we ignore other important issues.”
Rubio is hardly the first Republican lawmakers to call on Holder to step down, but his growing national influence will add firepower to the GOP’s efforts to call attention to Holder’s actions.
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