“The Congressional inquiry into Operation Fast and Furious, and the cover-up by Justice Department officials of wrongdoing, has been a fair and fact based investigation. False and partisan allegations by the White House and some congressional Democrats about the Oversight Committee’s efforts were undermined by the votes of 17 Democrats. These Members resisted the pressure of their own leadership and the Obama Administration to support this investigation on the House floor.
“Claims by the Justice Department that it has fully cooperated with this investigation fall at odds with its conduct: issuing false denials to Congress when senior officials clearly knew about gunwalking, directing witnesses not to answer entire categories of questions, retaliating against whistleblowers, and producing only 7,600 documents while withholding over 100,000.
“I greatly appreciate the ongoing efforts of Senator Chuck Grassley, his staff, and other Senators on the Judiciary Committee who have pressed the Obama Administration for the full truth. Senator Grassley began this investigation and has been a full partner throughout it. I must also recognize the hard work done by many of my colleagues here in the House – without their efforts the Justice Department’s stonewalling would have succeeded.
“My message to my colleagues and others who have fought for answers: We are still fighting for the truth and accountability – for the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, for whistleblowers who have faced retaliation, and for countless victims of Operation Fast and Furious in Mexico. Unless President Obama relents to this bipartisan call for transparency and an end to the cover-up, our fight will move to the courts where we will prevail in getting the documents that the Justice Department and President Obama’s flawed assertion of executive privilege have denied the American people.”
This is what we in the business call, an understatement.
On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi had this to say about the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s move to vote Eric Holder in contempt of Congress:
“They’re going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states… This is no accident, it is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of Republicans.”
Pelosi denied that Operation Fast and Furious is the real cause of the investigation and contempt charge. “These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote,” she said of her congressional colleagues. “It is connected. It’s clear as can be. It’s not only to monopolize his time, it’s to undermine his name.”
“These folks want a plutocracy where instead of the choice of the many the checks of the very very few determine the outcomes of elections,” she said.
Suffice it to say, at least one member of the House strongly disagreed, and offered this epic response.
Via Think Progress:
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) yesterday called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi “mind-numbingly stupid” and said that there is something medically wrong with her brain because she believes Republicans are unfairly targeting Attorney General Eric Holder.
Here’s the money quote:
… I don’t know what was wrong with her yesterday or today or whenever she said that, but I would schedule an appointment with my doctor if she thinks that we are doing this to suppress votes this fall. That is mind-numbingly stupid.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued the following statement on the Committee’s approval of a report finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his refusal to produce documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. The Committee yesterday approved the finding of contempt on a vote of 23 to 17.
“The Oversight Committee voted to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt for his continued refusal to produce relevant documents in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. This was not the outcome I had hoped for and today’s proceeding would not have occurred had Attorney General Eric Holder actually produced the subpoenaed documents he said he could provide.
“The President’s assertion of Executive Privilege this morning took us by surprise but did not alter the Committee’s conclusion that documents had been inappropriately withheld. Executive Privilege only applies to materials that directly pertain to communications with the President and his senior advisors. This assertion indicates that the White House’s role in Operation Fast and Furious and the response to whistleblower accusations has been greater than previously acknowledged. Just yesterday, the Attorney General indicated a willingness to produce a small subset of documents on the condition that the Committee end its investigation before they were described or made available for review. Today, the President asserted Executive Privilege to ensure they are never produced.
“At the heart of the Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious are disastrous consequences: a murdered Border Patrol Agent, his grieving family seeking answers, countless deaths in Mexico, and the souring effect on our relationship with Mexico. Congress has not just a right, but an obligation to do all that it can to uncover exactly what happened and ensure that it never occurs again. After the Justice Department’s earlier false denial of reckless conduct, the Committee has a duty to pursue all options to gather and evaluate key evidence.
“I still believe that a settlement, rendering the process of contempt unnecessary, is in the best interest of the Justice Department, Congress, and those most directly affected by Operation Fast and Furious. I urge Attorney General Holder and President Obama to reconsider their decision to withhold documents that would allow Congress to complete its investigation.”
Issa is trying to work with Holder but this has gone on long enough. Holder has had every opportunity to turn over the requested documents, and repeatedly ignores subpoenas, something that would have the average American in jail by now.
Speaking of jail, Nancy Pelosi yesterday made the wild accusation that she could have had Karl Rove arrested a number of times if he was spotted in the Captiol – but then couldn’t name a specific charge he could have been arrested on.
From the Huffington Post:
Pelosi has a history of spouting off at the mouth without any facts to back up her claims. Remember recently when she alleged she had some sort of secret knowledge about Newt Gingrich, that when revealed would kill his Presidential campaign? She immediately backed off, of course.
Let’s see if one single member of the media repeatedly hits her with the simple question ‘What could you have had Rove arrested for?’ They won’t, despite the fact that it would be a bombshell news story if there was an action that Rove had taken that could be considered in contempt of Congress.
The media knows Pelosi is lying, and they will not call her out on it. They know Holder is lying and they will not call him out on it. They know Obama is lying and they will not call him out on it.
Go get ’em Mr. Issa…
From Fox News:
The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is threatening to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress if he fails to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents.
Holder has until Feb. 9 to comply.
In a four-page letter to Holder, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., claims the Department of Justice has “misrepresented facts and misled Congress,” which began its investigation of Operation Fast and Furious one year ago.
Issa claims Holder’s “actions lead us to conclude that the department is actively engaged in a cover-up” because it refuses to comply with previous subpoenas.
A copy of the letter from Issa to Holder is below…
A press release from Congressman Darrell Issa’s Office indicates that a top Justice Department Official has been subpoenaed due to his unwillingness to cooperate with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Good to see Issa continuing to pursue the Fast and Furious scandal, though the bigger criminal is Holder himself.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced the issuance of a subpoena to Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. Mr. Cunningham’s repeated refusals to testify voluntarily have forced the Committee to use compulsory process.
“During the course of our investigation, the Committee has learned of the outsized role played by the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office – and you specifically – in approving the unacceptable tactics used in Fast and Furious,” Chairman Issa wrote to Cunningham in a letter informing him of the subpoena. “Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress.
“These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used. In fact, documents obtained confidentially just last week appear to confirm that you remained steadfast in your belief that no unacceptable tactics were used, even after the Department’s initial response to the congressional inquiry. Given that the Attorney General has labeled these tactics as unacceptable and Fast and Furious as ‘fundamentally flawed,’ this position is startling.”
The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 for a deposition.
The Fast and Furious operation drew fierce scrutiny when firearms linked to the program were found to be involved in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The program attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons traffickers but instead ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators lost thousands of firearms, many of which wound up in Mexico.
“…while it’s heartening to see Issa and his committee continuing to pursue those who might be covering up the truth on Fast and Furious, Eric Holder still has his job and has yet to face prosecution for his role in this lawless operation.”
“The bottom line: the wheels of justice are turning, they’re just moving so slowly that progress is imperceptible.”
At least Issa is putting a spotlight on this scandal. If Holder had any decency he would resign. Yesterday.
|Even I think I should resign…|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today announced that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been scheduled to testify on February 2 about the Department of Justice’s knowledge of, and response to, gunwalking that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious. The Attorney General will be asked to address management deficiencies within the Department that occurred both during and after the conclusion of Operation Fast and Furious. This will include the Department’s steadfast refusal to disclose information following the February 4, 2011 letter to Senator Grassley, which the Department has withdrawn because it contained false information denying allegations made by whistleblowers about Operation Fast and Furious. The committee’s investigation has found documentation that numerous members of the Justice Department knew the letter to Congress contained false information both before it was sent and later withdrawn.
“The Department of Justice’s conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful,” said Chairman Issa. “From its initial denials that nothing improper occurred, to efforts to silence whistleblowers who wanted to tell Congress what really happened, to its continuing refusal to discuss or share documents related to this cover-up, the Justice Department has fought tooth and nail to hide the full truth about what occurred and what senior officials knew. Attorney General Holder must explain or reverse course on decisions that appear to put the careers of political appointees ahead of the need for accountability and the Department’s integrity.”
Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley have led the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. In December 2011, the Justice Department explicitly informed the Committee that it would not deliver subpoenaed documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious created after February 4, 2011. In interviews with committee investigators, senior Justice Department officials who had management responsibilities for Operation Fast and Furious have also refused to answer questions about decisions and conversations that occurred after February 4, 2011.
The hearing will occur in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building. The start time has yet to be determined.
For more information about the committee’s investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, visit the website at www.FastandFuriousinvestigation.com.