A group of prominent civil rights leaders today condemned House Republicans and Texas Sen. John Cornyn for their sharp criticism of Attorney General Eric Holder.
At a press conference held at the National Press Club, the group, which included the Rev. Al Sharpton, denounced the impending vote in the U.S. House to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for declining to turn over all requested documents in connection with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Operation Fast and Furious.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by one of the weapons that ATF allowed to cross the border in the botched gun-tracking operation.
“Holder is not in contempt of Congress, he is in contempt of the narrow political agenda of some of the House leadership,” said Wade Henderson, CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Sharpton, a New York minister and MSNBC TV host, called the contempt charge a “reckless and morally contemptible act” motivated by politics and went on to chastise Cornyn, saying the Texas Republican called for Holder’s resignation because the attorney general has used his position to fight for civil rights, as seen in his forceful opposition to Voter ID laws.
Sharpton said Cornyn’s support for Voter ID laws was prompted by “voter fraud that does not exist, and voter fraud that they’re using to implement voter suppression rules like voter ID.”
“Slowing down Holder slows down the enforcement of civil rights in this country,” Sharpton declared.
Cornyn’s office rejected Sharpton’s rhetoric.