Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The House Oversight Committee issued a statement from its Chairman, Darrel Issa, who said:

“I had hoped that after this evening’s meeting I would be able to tell you that the Department had delivered documents that would justify the postponement of tomorrow’s vote on contempt.  The Department told the Committee on Thursday that it had documents it could produce that would answer our questions. Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation...“While I still hope the Department will reconsider its decision so tomorrow’s vote can be postponed, after this meeting I cannot say that I am optimistic.  At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee.”

Congressman Issa made the statements after a brief meeting with Holder did not produce the results he expected.

Earlier today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee met to consider a report holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to produce documents specified in the Committee's October 12, 2011 subpoena.  The Oversight Committee's statement quoted Issa:

"...For over a year and a half, the House Oversight Committee, with Senator Chuck Grassley, has conducted a joint investigation of reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious. With the support of House leadership, the Republican Conference, and even some Democratic Members who have expressed concern to the White House over the Justice Department’s failure to cooperate, this investigation has yielded significant results. The Attorney General has acknowledged that the operation was fundamentally flawed and he has committed to take steps to ensure that it does not occur again. Evidence found in applications for wiretaps shows that although senior officials were given information about reckless tactics, they still signed affirmations that they had reviewed the investigation and determined that electronic surveillance of phones was necessary...Despite what the investigation has uncovered through whistleblowers and documents the Justice Department had tried to hide, the Committee’s work is not yet complete.  Attorney General Holder has failed to meet his legal obligations pursuant to the October 12 subpoena.  House leaders reiterated this failure in a May 18, 2012, letter. Specifically, the Justice Department has refused to turn over critical documents on the grounds that they show internal Department deliberations and were created after February 4, 2011 – the date Justice issued a false denial to Congress.  Contempt will focus on the failure to provide these post February 4th documents..."

According to the statement, "...Committee consideration of a contempt citation is a debatable and amendable measure.  Committee approval requires a majority vote.  Contempt is a process for enforcing compliance with a lawful subpoena and does not assign blame for the flawed and reckless conduct that took place in Operation Fast and Furious..."

Congressman Issa continued:

“The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them.  These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics.  The Justice Department’s actions have obstructed the investigation. Congress has an obligation to investigate unanswered questions about attempts to smear whistleblowers, failures by Justice Department officials to be truthful and candid with the congressional investigation, and the reasons for the significant delay in acknowledging reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious...While the Justice Department can still stop the process of contempt, this will only occur through the delivery of the post February 4, 2011, documents related to Operation Fast and Furious and whistleblower accusations subpoenaed by the Committee.  If the Attorney General decides to produce these subpoenaed documents, I am confident we can reach agreement on other materials and render the process of contempt unnecessary..."

The Oversight Committe provided a fact sheet on Operation Fast and Furious that you can view HERE... (pdf)

On June 6, 2012, the Oversight Committee issued a statement alleging that "New Documents showed Senior DOJ Officials were informed of Gunwalking in Fast and Furious:  See that Statement HERE.


How do you think this is going to go?

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