House Republicans pummeled Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday over the disputed gun-trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious, accusing the Justice Department of hiding the truth and lying to Congress in a slugfest of an oversight hearing.
Mr. Holder denied the allegations and declared that he would not resign.
Mr. Holder had testified about Fast and Furious on three prior occasions, and the hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday produced few revelations. But it was the most politically charged session yet, as one Republican after another tore into the attorney general.
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, for example, called for “heads to roll” and threatened to impeach unspecified Obama administration officials. Representative Darrell Issa of California pronounced Mr. Holder in “contempt of Congress” for refusing to turn over certain internal departmental e-mails. Representative Ted Poe of Texas suggested that Justice Department officials should be prosecuted for manslaughter for recklessly allowing guns to fall into the hands of criminals.