Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)
- 05-03-2012, 10:33 AM #1
House GOP to distribute draft contempt citation against Eric Holder over "gunwalking"
House GOP to distribute draft contempt citation against Eric Holder over "gunwalking"
May 3, 2012
(CBS News) Republicans on the House Oversight Committee were to take the first formal step Thursday toward contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious "gunwalking" operation, CBS News has learned.
The case for a citation declaring Holder in contempt will be laid out in a briefing paper and 48-page draft citation distributed to Democrats and Republicans on the committee. CBS News has obtained copies of both documents. In them, Republican members use strong language to accuse Holder of obstructing the committee's investigation, which is now in its second year.
The documents allege that the Justice Department has issued, "false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts."
"The Justice Department's demonstrable contempt for the congressional investigation has inflicted harm on the people of two nations seeking the truth - and very pointedly on the family of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ATF whistleblowers who now face retaliation in the wake of their own heroic efforts to expose wrongdoing," says the brief to be distributed Thursday.
For its part, the Justice Department says it has complied with the congressional investigations, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).
"We've done twice-a-month (document) productions since last year, and the Attorney General has testified about this matter no less than seven times," a Justice official tells CBS News.
There have been at least three House contempt actions against the Executive Branch in the past 30 years.
In 1983, Congress found EPA administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford in contempt for failing to produce subpoenaed documents.
In 1998, the GOP-controlled House Oversight committee found Attorney General Janet Reno in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena on campaign finance law violations.
In 2008, the Democrat-controlled House found former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff John Bolton in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors was politically motivated.
In 2008, the Democratic-led Oversight Committee found two White House officials in contempt in the probe of Bush Administration firings of U.S. Attorneys. Congress went to federal court to seek enforcement of that contempt action, but a compromise was reached with the Executive Branch before any court decision was final.
House GOP to distribute draft contempt citation against Eric Holder over "gunwalking" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News
- 05-03-2012, 10:38 AM #2
Issa sends out draft contempt order against Holder, says 'Furious' response 'cannot stand'
May 03, 2012FoxNews.com
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa has circulated a lengthy pair of documents making the case for holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his "refusal" to cooperate in an investigation of the ill-fated Fast and Furious operation.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Thursday sent to every member of his committee a 64-page draft contempt order against Holder as well as a 17-page memo outlining the history of the scandal.
"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," Issa wrote.
The committee is not citing Holder or holding the attorney general in contempt at this point. However, the documents lay out the case for contempt should members be called to vote.
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."
The draft order pointed to three categories in particular. Those categories concerned: who among the department's top brass should have known about the "reckless tactics" in Fast and Furious; how department leaders ended up figuring out the program was a bad idea; and how a special task force "failed" to share information that could have supposedly led to key gun-trafficking arrests.
U.S. officials had used the Fast and Furious program to allow firearms to "walk" across the U.S.-Mexico border as part of an anti-gunrunning probe. However, they lost track of many of those weapons, which later turned up at crime scenes on both sides of the border -- including the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Issa noted that "only 567 of the nearly 2,000 weapons from the operation have been recovered."
It's unclear when Issa might press for action on the documents, but a source close to the investigation told Fox News he would not have put his cards on the table unless he had sufficient votes to push a contempt citation out of committee as well as the consent of House Speaker John Boehner.
A Republican source separately told Fox News that Boehner and House Republican Leader Eric Cantor do not want to deal with a contempt citation against Holder because "it's off message for them." But they apparently told Issa he needs to issue a "report" before they would even consider it -- which may account for the documents circulated on Thursday.
Since 1975, only one attorney general has been found in contempt -- Janet Reno, voted to be held in contempt by the same committee Issa now controls.
The summary of the draft Holder contempt resolution states that the Justice Department "has refused to comply with congressional subpoenas related to operation Fast and Furious."
This refusal, the draft states, "is inexcusable and cannot stand."
The Justice Department has denied claims of being uncooperative with the congressional investigation, noting that Holder has testified more than a half-dozen times on the subject and that the department has provided a number of officials for congressional hearings and briefings.
An April 19 response from the department to Issa included another 188 pages of documents in response to the October 2011 subpoena.
"We intend to continue our rolling production schedule until we have accommodated the Committee's information needs to the fullest extent possible," Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote.
Fox News' William LaJeunesse and Mike Levine contributed to this report.
- 05-03-2012, 08:51 PM #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
Holder has been so disappointing to my way of thinking. If not before, if Obama wins I hoe to see a replacement at Justice. Not a great example of Justice!
- 05-03-2012, 11:09 PM #4
House committee weighs Holder contempt resolution
House committee weighs Holder contempt resolution
Washington (CNN) -- The top Republican on the House Oversight Committee is moving to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate in the panel's investigation of the controversial "Operation Fast and Furious" weapons sting.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, sent a 17-page memo and a draft contempt resolution to members of his committee Thursday, outlining what he argued was Justice Department's "refusal" to comply with the panel's probe to get information about the sting. The program, run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, allowed weapons to be purchased illegally in order to track them to senior drug cartel members, but agents lost track of hundreds of weapons in the process.
Issa indicated the committee may vote on the measure in an upcoming session, setting up a major confrontation between the Republican-led House and the Obama administration.
The Justice Department firmly rejected the committee's publicly released document. In a letter to Issa, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote that the department hopes to find a "mutually acceptable resolution" to demands for documents, but Issa's resolution "appears to express a preference for confrontation over resolution."
"Viewed fairly, the disagreements between the Committee and the Department over the scope of the document to be produced stem not from a lack of cooperation, but from our sincere and unwavering believe that disclosure of materials related to ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions could well jeopardize our core law enforcement mission, which must remain free from political pressure or even the appearance of political pressure," he wrote. "This is not a novel concept.
Cole told Issa the department has handed over 7,600 pages of material related to the botched probe, and Holder has testified about the issue seven times. But he said the committee needs to better define the types of documents it wants Justice to hand over.
When word leaked last week that Issa was working on such a resolution, the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, sent the chairman a letter accusing him of pressing the issue for political purposes.
"Holding someone in contempt of Congress is one of the most serious and formal actions our committee can take, and it should not be used as a political tool to generate press as part of an election-year witch hunt against the Obama administration," Cummings wrote.
But in a Thursday interview on Fox News, Issa said, "We're running out of patience." He accused the Justice Department of a "coverup," but indicated he was still giving the department a chance to hand over the materials.
"If they don't, then I have the support of leadership to do what we have to do," Issa said.
If the Oversight Committee approves a contempt resolution, the measure could then go to the House floor for a full vote. But CNN has been told that Issa has no firm plans yet to hold a committee vote, hoping instead that the threat will pressure Holder to provide the documents the Republicans want.
"While there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action, no final decision has been made about moving forward yet by GOP leaders," a senior House GOP leadership aide said when asked about the timing of a potential vote in the House on the matter.
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner deflected questions on any vote, deferring to Issa's investigation.
"I continue to support their efforts and believe that this Justice Department must be held accountable," Boehner said.
In an effort to paint Issa's efforts as politically motivated, a Democratic government source noted that Issa and other GOP lawmakers protested when the House voted to hold Bush administration officials in contempt in 2008.
But an Issa aide said the two issues are completely different: The 2008 dispute involved officials who worked in the White House and claimed executive privilege, the aide said, while Issa is seeking information from an agency over which Congress has oversight.
The committee memo accuses the Justice Department of "reckless conduct" and notes that it has pressed the department for answers for more than a year about the operation and how it related to the death of Border Control Agent Brian Terry in 2010.
Terry was shot near the Arizona border by an illegal immigrant. Two AK-47s recovered at the scene were traced back to a database of weapons bought by a straw purchaser and then smuggled into Mexico in an operation that resulted in the loss of hundreds of weapons.
After Terry's death, the Justice Department initially denied allegations in a letter to Congress that it was illegally allowing the flow of weapons to members of Mexican drug rings. But it acknowledged the program about a year later, calling it "fundamentally flawed." Holder has since vowed that guns will not be allowed to "walk" from gun shops near the border with Mexico.
In February, Holder told Congress the Justice Department was still doing its internal inquiry, but stated that officials could be fired for improper conduct.
"I can assure you those people will be removed from federal service," he vowed.
Issa's memo notes that while the Justice Department has provided some materials to Capitol Hill, most of the information about "Fast and Furious" came though whistle-blowers and media reports. The Oversight Committee approved a subpoena sent to Holder in October 2011 with 22 categories of documents it wanted to see, but the committee says it has only received materials relating to 12 of those categories.
"For over a year, the department has issued false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts," the memo states.
Cole said Justice has provided more documents to its Inspector General's office, which is conducting its own investigation of "Fast and Furious." And cited internal legal opinions dating back to the Reagan administration to argue against disclosing some documents to Congress.
Specifically, the committee is pressing for documents that shed light on why the Justice Department first denied and then acknowledged the program. It also wants more information on which senior Justice Department officials knew about the operation and who approved it, as well as why the various law enforcement agencies allegedly failed to communicate with each other about the operation.
Issa's committee has been holding a joint investigation with the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Grassley said he supported Issa's move to press for a contempt resolution, and urged the Justice Department to "come clean."
"The attorney general and the Justice Department are thumbing their nose at the constitutional authority provided to the legislative branch to conduct oversight," Grassley said in a written statement.
The controversy over the operation has prompted some GOP members on the Hill to call for Holder's resignation, and more than 100 House Republicans signed onto a resolution of "no confidence" against the attorney general -- a largely symbolic gesture that is less serious than a contempt resolution.
House committee weighs Holder contempt resolution - CNN.comU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
- 05-04-2012, 12:53 PM #5We have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.
- 05-07-2012, 10:52 PM #6
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
- Blog Entries
Is Congress afraid to show their impotence and vestigial nature? Why do we keep reading about this contempt "resolution" ???
How about CHARGES? INDICTMENTS!?!?!?!?!?
WClick here to learn more about William Gheen President of ALIPAC
- 05-07-2012, 11:35 PM #7
- 05-10-2012, 12:09 PM #8
Government's gunrunning Kingpin
in hot water with Congress
Issa to Holder: You can still avoid contempt if you give up Fast and Furious documents
by Matthew Boyle
The Daily Caller
A spokeswoman for House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder could still avoid the contempt of Congress proceedings on the horizon � if he cooperates with the congressional subpoena he�s thus far failed to comply with.
�The Justice Department can still avoid contempt,� Issa spokeswoman Becca Watkins told TheDC. �They need to pledge their cooperation and stop stonewalling on critical documents outlined by the committee in the draft contempt report.�
Watkins said those �critical documents� include �what high ranking officials knew about Fast and Furious and when they knew it, information about informants and their roles, and how the Justice Department changed its view from denying that gunwalking occurred to acknowledging that Fast and Furious was fundamentally flawed.�
Holder has outright failed to comply with the subpoena Issa served him in October 2011 on Fast and Furious. That subpoena contains 22 parts, and Holder has failed to fulfill each and every one of those categories. For 13 of the categories, Holder has provided no documents whatsoever, and for the other nine categories, Holder remains far from compliant, as TheDC documented in full late last week.
Continue reading here
Darrell Issa | Eric Holder | Contempt of Congress | The Daily Caller
Attorney General Eric Holder could still avoid the contempt of
Congress proceedings on the horizon - if he cooperates with the
congressional subpoena he's thus far failed to comply with.
The chances of him handing over documents that incriminate him and
his work in a plot to demonize the Second Amendment are pretty
slim, so it looks like Contempt of Congress charges are on the way
for ol' Eric the withHolder.
2ndAmendment TV takes a look at recent developments...
Good News: Government's gunrunning Kingpin in hot water with Congress
P.S. Please share Brasscheck TV e-mails and
videos with friends and colleagues.
That's how we grow. Thanks.We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religions destroy morals, and our banks destroy the economy.
Chris Hedges…Journalist and author