Eric Holder may have gone too far, even for the lawless Obama administration. He appears to have lied under oath about when he first learned about Operation Fast and Furious — and now Republicans are calling for an independent counsel to open an investigation that could end with him being bounced out of office, perhaps only steps before Barack Obama.

Testifying under oath before the House Judiciary Committee on May 3, Holder was asked by Congressman Darrell Issa when he had first learned of Operation Fast and Furious. Holder replied, “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.” But a July 5, 2010, memo alerted Holder to the program nearly a year earlier. An October 18, 2010, e-mail involving Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, similarly mentions the program by name. (Doug Book’s story has more of the details)

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At the latest, Sen. Chuck Grassley has said Holder learned of the program “on January 31, when he came to my office for other discussions. I handed him a letter, asking for a lot of documents, and I was beginning my investigation of Fast and Furious.”

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Eric Holder’s office is claiming he misunderstood the question. Holder’s spokespeople alleged Holder was responding to when he first knew of controversial tactics, not when he first heard about the program, which, of course, he knew about much earlier.

Issa has responded that is no defense against a perjury charge. The California congressman went as far as to say on Fox and Friends that Holder “probably perjured himself” before his committee.

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Because of this discrepancy, and the fact that the attorney general can hardly be expected to investigate himself, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-TX, has called for an independent counsel to be appointed. “Allegations that senior Justice Department officials may have intentionally misled Members of Congress are extremely troubling and must be addressed by an independent and objective special counsel,” Smith said.

Despite the explosive nature of the revelation and the potential for Holder to be removed from office, only CBS News seems interested in the controversy. The rest of the mainstream media is too busy covering Michelle Obama’s shopping trip to Target. (What, she didn’t shop enough in Spain and Africa?)

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Perjury is one potential danger Holder faces. Another is that subsequent investigations will prove authorization for this program went higher than Ken Melson and other career officials. If an order given by Eric Holder, or Barack Obama, resulted in the deaths of at least two Americans, impeachment will be on the table.

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