OTR Interviews

House Republicans Show 'Fast and Furious' No Confidence in Holder

Congressman introduces no-confidence resolution on Attorney General Eric Holder over 'Fast and Furious' scandal

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 12, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, it sure is clear they want him out. Republican lawmakers are demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder resign, and now they want to make their message official. Today they introduced a House resolution pushing for a vote of no confidence in the attorney general.

Congressman Michael Grimm joins us. Good evening, sir.

REP. MICHAEL GRIMM, R-N.Y.: Good evening.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I suppose we should say and just sort of put in perspective, not only are you a member of Congress, you're a former FBI agent.

GRIMM: Yes. That's correct.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So -- and so the attorney general would be your boss, if you were still -- in theory.

GRIMM: Yes. Absolutely true.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You want him out. Why?

GRIMM: I don't think we have the confidence. I think the attorney general has been misleading not only to Congress but the American people. Listen, you don't let guns and drugs walk. That's the general rule of thumb. So if you're going to do something like that, which is very rare, you have to have approvals at the highest level of DoJ.

Now, why is this more complicated? Because you're not just letting them walk within an area here in the United States. You're talking about an international border. So you're having guns walk across into another country.

There's no question in my mind that you needed approval all the way to top of the food chain, which leads directly to the attorney general.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, Resolution 490, House Resolution 490, was introduced to have what happen?

GRIMM: To basically say that we no longer have confidence in the attorney general. I mean, this is an extremely important position. This is our jurisprudence. This is the Department of Justice. The American people have to have faith in our Department of Justice. And we don't -- as a -- as a member of Congress, I do not have that vote of confidence.

VAN SUSTEREN: Does it mean anything, though? I mean, if you -- let's say that -- let's say a majority of House members vote -- vote on it, that -- no confidence in him. What does it mean?

GRIMM: I think it's extremely significant because it's shedding more light on this issue.

VAN SUSTEREN: It doesn't throw him out.

GRIMM: It doesn't throw him out. But you have to remember, a border patrol agent lost his life. And if nothing else, it's telling that family and the other -- my fellow agents, as I would consider them, that we have not forgotten you and the Congress is behind you.

And if we can put enough pressure -- I want people too see also that the president, when he first started, said, This is going to be the most transparent administration that -- you know, of all time. Well, this is anything but transparent. We have -- we have the assistant attorney general sending a letter to Congress that they then had to later rescind because it was incorrect.

VAN SUSTEREN: You're talking about the February 4th letter.

GRIMM: February 4th.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

GRIMM: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... here's what I don't get, is that Attorney General Holder has come before Congress. I don't get it. It seems like a pretty simple question. Mr. Attorney General, what is the highest-ranking person who was aware of it and what's the highest-ranking person who authorized it? For some reason, I don't know why those direct questions don't get put right to him and get an answer.

GRIMM: Well, I think that in many ways, it has. But he is -- the other thing that is very bothersome for all the members of Congress, and should be outraged -- the general public should be outraged, is he's refusing to turn over important documents, e-mails and so on, to show exactly who knew, when they knew. There's no question that there's a lot of misrepresentations going on.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is he claiming a privilege of some sort? I mean, why isn't he turning over the documents? Because this has now dragged on a year. And I'm -- you know, I've known Eric Holder for a number of years. He used to be a judge locally here -- straight -- straight arrow, good reputation. But this is now at the point of the absurd that he doesn't just get the answer, get it over to you and be done with it. This has dragged on for a year.

GRIMM: But that's exactly why you know something isn't right here. Chairman Issa even had to say that he may have to hold him in contempt of Congress. As the attorney general of the United States, what kind of message is that sending to the general public? I think it's abhorrent.

There's no question that there was a tremendous amount -- it comes down to two things. If he really didn't know, then was he really doing his job? Is he competent to have the job if guns are crossing borders and he didn't know about it? That's a problem in and of itself. And if he did know about it, then how could he mislead us and not...

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, see, I think it's...

GRIMM: ... come to the forefront?

VAN SUSTEREN: ... a bigger question. If whoever authorized it is still an active person in the Justice Department, that person will be making another stupid decision.

GRIMM: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: That's why we have to identify...

GRIMM: Unfortunately...

VAN SUSTEREN: But the other thing, too, is I was never suspicious before. I have now become suspicious. I'm suspicious if perhaps even someone at the White House was aware because it's -- it's funny that you can't just get a straight answer on it.

GRIMM: Well, not only that, but now you're seeing the typical shuffle that I've seen myself. You're seeing transfers, no one really getting fired, but people getting transferred. And I will -- I will hate to tell you this, but what that usually means is not only are they transferring those that knew and were involved, but eventually, they'll promote them later on for keeping their mouths shut. And the agents that came forward, they're being retaliated against.

VAN SUSTEREN: And just to be clear, I wasn't suggesting I thought the president knew about it. I was just --- because of this whole sort of legal network within the administration, the way it -- for every administration. Anyway, Congressman, thank you, sir.

GRIMM: Thank you. It's good to see you.