According to nypost.com, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is building his case to cite U.S. Attorney General for Contempt of Congress. Darrell Issa’s making the move against Eric Holder for the AG’s refusal to hand over documents related to the ATF’s illegal Fast and Furious gun running operation. Issa sent Committee members a 64-page draft contempt order against Holder. To wit: “Operation Fast and Furious’ outrageous tactics, the Justice Department’s refusal to fully cooperate with the investigation and efforts to smear and retaliate against whistleblowers have tainted the institutional integrity of the Justice Department.” Ya think? “The documents specifically charge that . . .

Holder’s Justice Department has not properly complied with a subpoena sent Oct. 12, 2011, which listed documents requested in 22 categories.

According to the draft contempt order, the department “has yet to provide a single document for 12 out of the 22 categories contained in the subpoena schedule.”

Some key points:

– The Republicans can’t bring a Contempt of Congress citation to the House floor without House Speaker John Boehner’s approval. Boehner’s silence on Fast and Furious (a.k.a, “Guns for Goons”) has been deafening. Boehner might figure the public would consider the pursuit of justice (small and lage “j”) a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

– Perceived wisdom holds that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is stonewalling because the documents would reveal that the DOJ in general, and Eric Holder in specific, knew about Fast and Furious before the scandal broke. Before Mexican drug thugs wielding ATF-enabled weapons shot and killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata (and dozens of Mexicans).

– The truth could be far worse. DOJ documents could prove that the ATF/DEA/FBI/DHS/CPB/ICE/ CIA and/or State Department knew about/participated in Fast and Furious and other pro-cartel gun running ops. Or worse: the President of the United States may have personally approved F&F and other pro-cartel black bag ops.

– Or worse. The above-named alphabet soup of federal agencies and/or the Commander in Chief may have given Mexican narcoterrorists a free pass to bring drugs into the U.S. and take guns and money out—in the name of stabilizing the Calderon government.

– Whatever the truth about these guns may be, the administration must have a closet full of skeletons to continue stonewall Congress and the media (CBS’ Freedom of Information requests have been repeatedly denied) to this extent.

– The Obama administration may decide to drag their heels on Fast and Furious right through the election. [NB: Richard Nixon was re-elected in the middle of the Watergate scandal.] I’m no constitutional scholar, but there’s some serious issues with a Contempt of Congress citation. Wikipedia is some help, but even Ralph would have trouble with this.

– Issa and Senator Grassley are not going to let this drop. Issa’s draft states that the Justice Department’s unwillingness to provide subpoenaed documents “inexcusable and cannot stand.” We shall see what we shall see.

 

35 Responses to ATF Death Watch 147: Congress to Hold Holder in Contempt?

    • I’ll believe it when it actually happens. I don’t believe Boehner has the balls to back up this threat.

  1. I have to agree, they all must be involved, I wouldn’t be surprised if the FBI and even and others have programs of their own that we just don’t know about yet.
    Ok taking the tin foil hat off now, but it is about time someone gets to be held accountable for the tragic death or a peace officer.
    What the heck were they thinking, I mean seriously???

    • When it turns out that one of the gun smugglers is an FBI informant, we see the typical intellignece snafu–no one is telling anyone ina any other departmetn what they are up to or who their operatives are, resulting in everyone stepping on each others toes. These are rather classic turf battles between various enforcement agencies. Homeland Security was supposed to put a stop to all these fights, but we see how much of a nonsuccess that has been.

  2. Good luck; the leftist royalty tend to scoff and flex their underhanded muscle when justice and law are demanded of them.

    • Don’t forget Dianne Feinstein is also a CCW holder, but gosh darn it she doesn’t want anyone else to have one. To top it off she is the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. So she gets to hear about just about everything, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she had some sense of what was going on.

    • I hate leftist royalty like Alberto Gonzales who refuse to testify and hand over documents. Those pinkos should respect the law like right thinking Americans do.

      • Nice try! If you would like to compare the actions of Alberto Gonzales with Eric Holder, please do. If you do please stick to facts and I would love to see what you have to say

        • Off the top of my head, lying to congress about his visit to Ashcroft’s hospital bed, “enhanced interrogation” lies to congress, overseeing Gooding and her crew who “crossed the line” (legal line) when it came to hiring and firing in the DoJ.

          Holder sucks, but I simply objected to the idea that it is liberals only who are rat weasel bastards.

        • The DOJ IG found no criminal wrongdoing in the records. As the Wall Street Journal reported “the Justice Department informed Congress on Wednesday that a special investigator in the case found no evidence of wrongdoing….the investigator’s final word is that no Administration official gave ‘false statements’ to Congress or to the DOJ Inspector General, which carried out their own investigation.
          The Wall Street Journal, Review & Outlook, “General Piñata’s Exoneration, July 23, 2010
          The report also found no evidence that Gonzales made false or misleading statements to Congress, thus clearing him of accusations of perjury.
          U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, “An Investigation Into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006”, September 2008.
          So you are just going to repeat charges proven to be untrue, and act like they are true. How about addressing the current Attorney General’s blatant disregard for the law.

        • No offense, but I have no idea what your first paragraph refers to. Since I suggested three points of difficulty for Alberto Gonzales, your not using an antecedent makes knowing which scandal was cleared by an internal investigation difficult.

          He might well have been cleared of lying, but I recall a definate difference between Mueller’s testimony and Gonzales’s when it comes to what happened in Ashcroft’s hospital room.

          I remember Monica Gooding admitting to breaking the law when it came to hiring practices at the DoJ.

          Most of all, I want to repeat that I am not defending Holder. I think he has done a crap job. My entire reason for entering this conversation was to point out that neither Democrats nor Republicans have a good track record when it comes to the upholding of laws.

        • Gonzales acknowledged in his testimony in April 19, 2007 that he should have been more involved in the process. He acknowledged this well before the Inspector General reached this conclusion. He said in his congressional testimony that he should have been more precise in his press conference statements about the firings well before the Inspector General reached this conclusion. Gonzales clarified misstatements made at the March 13 press conference in subsequent interviews. Gonzales asked the Office of Professional Responsibility to examine the records and supported the involvement of the Inspector General. He directed full cooperation with all investigations by DOJ employees and agreed to release thousands of pages of internal DOJ documents. The Inspector General found no intentional or criminal wrongdoing by Gonzales.
          Quoted from DOJ IG Report, September 2008

          The conclusion of the investigation caused one commentator to note, “a career Justice Department prosecutor not beholden to any administration shows us that the witch hunt against Albert Gonzales was a politically motivated sham.”
          Quoted from Philadelphia Daily News, “An apology for Alberto? Shirley, you jest”, by Christina M. Flowers, posted July 23, 2010

        • I think I understand your frustration, Karl. You see that most politicians are corrupt and at this site you feel that Liberals are getting called out for it more than Conservatives. Imagine what Conservatives feel when reading say the New York Times and it won’t even identify John Edwards as a Democrat. I, too, feel strongly about what I see as injustice.
          Alberto Gonzales is one of the finest, most intelligent, and honest men we have had in public service. Read his bio sometime. Unfortunately, he was set up by Bush as a lightening rod in the ‘War on Terror’ blind-sided by just about everyone attacking Bush, then sand-bagged by ‘Social Conservatives.’ All this for a man who should be sitting on the Supreme Court as the first Hispanic Justice, instead of Judge Sotomayor, who I feel is about as smart as a box of hammers.
          So when you attempt to paint Gonzales and Holder with the same brush, I must object and object strenuously.

        • Gonzales drafted Executive Order 13233, which sealed the records of Ronald Reagan’s crimes, and also drafted the January 2002 memo that said that the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to certain people, and that the Justice Department is not under any obligation to discuss it with Congress. In 2005, he wrote the still-classified opinion that allowed the CIA to torture anyone they deem an enemy, and to classify the records forever. So it is actually pretty easy to argue that no other person in history has used government secrecy to cover up more crimes.

          Holder refusing to release a few thousand documents that might still be active, in comparison, is small potatoes.

        • I don’t argue that rat weasel bastardness is unique to one side of the political spectrum, which is why I said leftist and not Democrat. Letters in front of peoples’ names don’t always tell the truth about the person’s leanings. But, comparing the principles of modern left with traditional right and taking politicians out of it, I stand by my assertion of he way modern leftist tend to think.

        • Could you explain how modern liberals are more “royalty” than modern conservatives? I just do not understand the argument.

        • “modern left” and “modern right,” at least in the American political arena, share a lot more in common than one might think. For one, most of “bipartisan” policies that seem to get a lot of support (i.e. NDAA, TARP) from both sides could easily be classified as fascist.

  3. Before they even get around doing it we’ll either have a new president or Obama will have a new Attorney General for his new term.

  4. Boehner has his agenda, which is probably a bit broader than ours. I’d like to think that he’d go along with the Issa program, because in many prior cases of potential contempt citations, the offender finally coughed up the documents when confronted.

    There was a time when the branches of government would fight like cats and dogs (just like the Founders intended), one branch would provoke a Constitutional crisis, and everything would get worked out before things got out of hand. Every once in a blue moon, the Supreme Court would have to step in to restore sanity.

    Days gone by, my friends. Days gone by.

  5. Great write up of the key points. The pic up top would make a nice weekend photo caption contest.

  6. Give me a minute so I can try to stop laughing hysterically while thinking that people still believe there’s a difference between the Democrat and Republican party.

    • The biggest difference is who is selected for cabinet posts, supreme court vacancies, and other positions. On matters of spending, budget and general corruption there is not a dimes worth of difference.

  7. “the administration must have a closet full of skeletons”

    I think it’s more like a graveyard full of skeletons. If the murdered rose up on Mexico’s Day of the Dead they would fill up all the offices on Capitol Hill.

  8. C’mon. Be serious. This administration doesn’t have a closet full of skeletons.

    They have (by my count, which could be wrong) 220 graveyards in Cook County, Illinois.

    And every four years, the residents of same all find a way to vote for a straight Democratic ticket.

  9. “Or worse. The above-named alphabet soup of federal agencies and/or the Commander in Chief may have given Mexican narcoterrorists a free pass to bring drugs into the U.S. and take guns and money out—in the name of stabilizing the Calderon government.”

    This may explain Boehner’s coyness. The War on (Some) Drugs would suffer an ignominious defeat if the FBI’s Confidential Informants were revealed to be state-sanctioned drug mules.

  10. As a Californian, I’m going to send a letter thanking and encouraging Mr. Issa in his efforts to hold those on the Fast and Furious scandal accountable.

    California isn’t completely lost. Mostly, but not completely…

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