White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today was unable to explain apparent inconsistencies in testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder before Congress, but he brushed off calls by Republicans for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Holder committed perjury.
Holder is accused by Republicans of potentially misleading the Judiciary Committee when he testified that he had learned about the Fast and Furious gun running operation to Mexico just weeks before his May 3, 2011 appearance before the panel. But documents recently unearthed suggest he was informed of the operation well before then, in 2010.
Carney held to what has become the administration line that Holder didn’t learn the controversial aspects of the operation – which sent guns to Mexico that were used in killings, including that of an American agent – until soon before his testimony. But Carney repeatedly ignored that Holder had testified not that he had only just found out about controversial aspects of the operation, but that he had just learned of the operation itself.
“I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,” Holder testified.
Holder’s testimony was “consistent and truthful,” Carney said, even while not denying that Holder had actually learned about the operation in 2010.
Carney scoffed at a request by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) for a special counsel to investigate, belittling Smith by saying he routinely requests special counsels.