Holder On The Hot Seat Over Trafficking Scandal05:25
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Attorney General Eric Holder on Capitol Hill in Washington in November. (AP)
Attorney General Eric Holder on Capitol Hill in Washington in November. (AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder is getting grilled by the House Judiciary Committee Thursday over the Operation Fast and Furious gun trafficking scandal. Members of the committee want to know how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lost track of hundreds of illicitly acquired weapons along the border. Many were eventually recovered from crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.

In prepared testimony for Thursday's hearing, Holder says it was inexcusable for the ATF to use a controversial law enforcement tactic known as "gun-walking" in an effort to identify and prosecute major arms trafficking networks along the Southwest border.

Holder also says the Justice Department has been fully cooperative with Congress on the question of how the ATF managed to lose track of hundreds of illicitly acquired weapons in Arizona that the agency was supposed to be following. Many of the guns were eventually recovered from crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.

In Operation Fast and Furious, two of the guns purchased at a Phoenix gun store were recovered from the scene of a shooting that killed border agent Brian Terry on the U.S. side of the border.

On Wednesday, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, whose inquiry brought the tactic used in Operation Fast and Furious to light, called for the resignation of one of Holder's top aides, criminal division chief Lanny Breuer.

The Associated Press contributed reporting

Guest:

  • Josh Gerstein, reporter for Politico

This segment aired on December 8, 2011.

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