VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so did you get the documents tonight from the attorney general of the United States that you had subpoenaed?
ISSA: Sadly, no. We not only didn’t get the documents, but the only offer we got was an offer that if we would take a briefing followed by such documents as they think support the briefing and agree to end the case, we could go our separate ways.
The attorney general did not come with any offer of any documents except as a contingent for ending the case outright, and he didn’t bring any list of any documents, or for that matter, anything in writing . . .
VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose he could have made a phone call to you making that same offer, rather than sort of this journey that we’ve been through for the last 24 hours, waiting to see what would happen.
ISSA: Well, sadly, what happened in this meeting was exactly what happened in our exchange of letters. We said we need the documents and we’d evaluate them. We limited the scope, extremely limited. And he kept saying that he wanted to have a meeting, so he’s had the meeting.
We didn’t close the door. I let him know that if he would produce meaningful documents, meaningful relative to the subpoena and the speaker’s request before tomorrow’s start-up, we would certainly postpone and evaluate those documents. But I’m not optimistic at this point . . .
VAN SUSTEREN: Did — does this mean — it is assuming that there are no documents that come from the Department of Justice, the attorney general, between now and tomorrow about 10:00 AM, does this mean that you intend to go full speed ahead and seek to hold him in contempt, or at least vote it out of the committee?
ISSA: Well, Greta, we have no choice but to — for a refusal to deliver documents that are relative to a lawful subpoena, we have no doubt but to — or no choice but to hold him in contempt. It’s not our choice. We want the documents. Brian Terry’s family would like the documents that are responsive to how, in fact, their son was gunned down with weapons that came from lawful dealers but at the bequest of — behest of the Justice Department . . .
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the — I mean, let’s assume — let’s jump ahead. Let’s assume tomorrow there’s a vote out of your committee for contempt and let’s assume that there’s a vote from the House of Representatives for contempt. What’s the practical effect? What — what do you — what do you get in the end? Is there — you don’t get your documents, but what do you get?
ISSA: Well, sadly, the attorney general said in the meeting that if we go forward with contempt, we’d get no cooperation from that time forward. On the other hand, he said if we would take the briefing, we’d have to close the case. So we’re sort of between a rock and a hard spot. We really have to go forward.
Yes, contempt is unusual, and the U.S. attorney pleading the case before a federal judge in D.C. can take some time. And unfortunately, during that time, we don’t expect to get a lot of new discovery. But again, you really have no choice when the executive branch says, No, we won’t allow you to look into misconduct within the executive branch.