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- 06-07-2012, 04:39 PM #1
Mole helps Rep. Issa whack Justice Dept.
Mole helps Rep. Issa whack Justice Dept.
By Jordy Yager - 06/07/12 05:00 AM ET
With the help of a mole, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has turned the tables on Attorney General Eric Holder.
Issa has long been exasperated with Holder, claiming that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been withholding information on a controversial gun-running operation. But through an anonymous source, Issa has obtained information about the initiative that is under a federal court-ordered seal.
Giving such information out is a federal crime, raising the question of whether the Justice Department will seek to prosecute what Republicans are calling a whistleblower.
Issa has asked the DOJ for the documents — wiretap applications it used in the botched federal gun-tracking Operation Fast and Furious — for months. The California lawmaker has taken preliminary steps to move contempt-of-Congress citations against Holder, but it remains unclear if GOP leaders support that move. This new controversy could help Issa attract more Republican support for a contempt-of-Congress resolution.
If Holder does launch an investigation into where the leak originated, the powerful Republican could paint the move as an attempt by the DOJ to hide the documents’ contents. It would also raise the possibility that DOJ investigators will seek information from Issa, who has been trying to determine who approved the “gun-walking” tactics used in Fast and Furious along the U.S.-Mexico border.
On the other hand, not launching a probe would mean turning a blind eye to a criminal breach and could lead Issa’s source and others to reveal other information sealed by a judge.
Issa told Fox News on Wednesday that he has no intention of shining the light on his source: “We’re not going to make our whistleblower available. That’s been one of the most sensitive areas, because some of the early whistleblowers are already feeling retribution. They’re being treated horribly.”
Asked earlier this week where he got the wiretap applications, Issa told The Hill, “You can ask, but you should have no expectation of an answer. By the way, if I asked you where you got yours, would you give me your sources?”
Of course, there is some political risk for Issa. The Obama administration could point out that he is stonewalling federal authorities after complaining throughout this Congress of being stonewalled by DOJ.
As the lead congressional investigator of Fast and Furious, Issa says the documents show top-ranking DOJ officials signing off on the condemned “gun-walking” tactics used in the failed operation. Senior DOJ officials have repeatedly denied that they approved the botched initiative.
The documents have not been made public, and Issa has apparently broken no laws by being given the information.
Regardless, the DOJ is not pleased.
“Chairman Issa’s letter makes clear that sealed court documents relating to pending federal prosecutions being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California have been disclosed to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in violation of law,” wrote Deputy Attorney General James Cole to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Issa this week.
“This is of great concern to us,” the letter added.
A spokesman for the DOJ declined to comment about whether it was planning to launch an investigation into the leak.
Democrats say that Issa is exaggerating what he has. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on Issa’s panel, reiterated this week that top-ranking DOJ officials didn’t personally review any of the six wiretap applications related to Fast and Furious. Issa sent Cummings the information he received from his source.
In the past, the DOJ has justified not turning over the wiretap applications to Issa by saying that doing so could jeopardize the current criminal cases it is prosecuting.
Two former prosecutors for the DOJ, who were not familiar with the details of this article, independently told The Hill that defense lawyers could use an instance of documents being leaked in violation of a court-ordered seal to justify seeking a mistrial.
It is unlikely that the DOJ, if it does investigate the leak, will have grounds to go after Issa for accepting the documents. In past instances of court-ordered seals being broken, it is the actual breaker of the seal who is held responsible, which in this case could mean criminal contempt proceedings and possible jail time.
The battle between Issa and the DOJ has escalated over the past month, with House Republican leaders writing a letter to Holder asking him to hand over information about who was responsible for Fast and Furious. The letter also asked whether the DOJ misled Congress on when officials, including Holder, became aware of the program.
Issa is set to square off against Holder on Thursday when the attorney general is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. The Republican lawmaker will appear on a panel to discuss oversight of the DOJ.
Under the now-defunct Fast and Furious initiative, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is under the DOJ, authorized the sale of firearms to known and suspected straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels, but lost track of many of the weapons. Some of those guns might have contributed to the December 2010 shooting death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
source: Mole helps Rep. Issa whack Justice Dept. - TheHill.comU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
- 06-07-2012, 05:22 PM #2
Cummings redacts key details from letter accusing Issa of omitting Fast and Furious
Cummings redacts key details from letter accusing Issa of omitting Fast and Furious Facts.
by Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller
June 5, 2012
In a letter sent Tuesday, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, accused Republican committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa of misrepresenting new evidence in the Operation Fast and Furious saga.
But a copy of the letter posted on the committee Democrats’ website includes long redacted sections, hiding the substance of Cummings’ argument from the American people.
The letter was a response to Issa’s announcement Tuesday of new evidence in the Fast and Furious saga. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa wrote that his committee had “obtained copies of six wiretap applications in support of seven wire intercepts utilized during Fast and Furious.”
Issa said those documents “show that immense detail about questionable investigative tactics was available to the senior officials who reviewed and authorized them.”
Because the committee has this evidence now, Issa explained, they can show Holder and several other Justice Department officials in the Obama administration provided “false” statements to Congress.
In his response to Issa, Cummings wrote that Issa omitted relevant facts and ultimately “mischaracterize[d] the contents and significance” of the wiretap application documents.
But Cummings himself redacted from public view all the evidence supporting his claims, and the entire substance of his argument, with the exception of two half-sentences.
“First, your letters omit the critical fact that,” Cummings wrote, before blacking out several lines. He then claimed that the redacted lines show “a key omission that completely undermines your conclusions and distorts your representations.”
Later in his letter, Cummings curiously accuses Issa of “omit[ting] critical facts that undermine your conclusions,” something that his own letter demonstrated.
- 06-08-2012, 09:46 AM #3
Fast and Furious: Eric Holder’s bizarre House Judiciary testimony
by John Hayward
Attorney General Eric Holder attended hearings into Operation Fast and Furious by the House Judiciary committee on Thursday. His testimony brought one major breakthrough: it turns out he doesn’t hate David Axelrod’s guts after all. There have been accounts that Holder nearly came to blows with President Obama’s top political advisor, but Holder told House Judiciary they have a “great relationship,” and he doesn’t think Axelrod has ever “done anything that I would consider inappropriate.”
Whew! Glad we got that out of the way! In other news, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry is still dead because of Operation Fast and Furious. The Attorney General still maintains he and his top deputies didn’t know anything, can’t remember anything, and have no intention of complying with lawful subpoenas from Congress. Holder acknowledges that he’s only turned over 7,600 of the 140,000 Fast and Furious documents he’s sitting on, and that’s about as good as it’s going to get.
This did not sit well with the clearly exasperated Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and the lead House investigator into Operatin Fast and Furious. “You’re not a good witness,” Issa snapped at one point, when Holder made one of his periodic efforts to pretend that coughing up five percent of the required material constitutes fulfillment of his subpoenas. “A good witness answers the question that was asked.”
How about those wiretap applications, smuggled out of Justice by a whistleblower, which prove beyond question that Holder’s inner circle was well aware of “gun walking” tactics, long before Agent Terry’s death? Well, according to the Attorney General, that’s all George Bush’s fault.
Holder claimed that high officials in his department don’t review wiretap applications before signing them – they skim over brief summaries and ignore details not directly related to the request for electronic surveillance. You know, little peripheral matters like the ATF losing hundreds of guns to Mexican drug cartel hit men. “They do not look at the affidavits to see, if in fact… to review all that is engaged… all that is involved in the operation,” the Attorney General explained.
For his part, now that Issa and his whistleblowers have kindly brought the wiretap applications to his attention, Holder has read them in full. “I have read those, and I have read Wide Receiver as well,” he said, referring to the vastly smaller Bush-era gun walking program. “I can say that what has happened in connection with Fast and Furious was done in the same way… wiretap applications were done in the same way under the previous Administration in Wide Receiver.”
Asked when the White House was made aware of the gun walking tactics employed by Operation Fast and Furious, Holder essentially said his staffers briefed the White House but didn’t brief him, so he doesn’t know what anybody said, or when they said it. He allegedly still hasn’t found the time to gather “specifics” about the case, even though he easily made the time to conduct a political seminar for black preachers recently. When Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) demanded to know who authorized Fast and Furious, Holder referred him to the eternally “in progress” internal Justice Department investigation, which is apparently being conducted by Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. He even said he doesn’t know how many guns have been recovered, or even more appalling, how many are still missing.
Holder also complained about having to keep giving the same non-answers to investigative committees eight times now, moaned about how he feels under “attack,” and of course slipped in a call for more gun-control legislation.
Unbelievably, while he was being read an email from Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein that discussed “gun walking” by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Holder said it was actually about the Bush-era Operation Wide Receiver… even though the email actually referred, verbatim, to Fast and Furious.
An astonished Chaffetz said, “The email says Fast and Furious, you say it doesn’t. I’ve got it in black and white.”
“I have superior knowledge,” was Holder’s ultimate response.
another video here :
Holder Claims Emails Have Nothing To Do With Fast & Furious Despite Emails Citing Fast & Furious - YouTube
There is no question this nonsense would be yielding 24-hour wall-to-wall news coverage from hyperventilating anchors if Holder was a Republican attorney general. He’d already be a staple of late-night comedy routines. Instead, expect a total media blackout of this incredible hearing.
House Democrats, especially Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, were happy to aid Holder in covering up his malfeasance by interrupting legitimate questions from the serious members of Congress, in an obvious bid to run out the clock on the Judiciary hearings. It was rather like watching a group of little kids squabble over the rules of a softball game. Except that several hundred people have already been killed by this particular game, so it sure isn’t “softball.”
It is simply impossible to watch this testimony without concluding that Eric Holder is either a dangerous incompetent, or a liar. If what he says is true, his removal from the Justice Department would cause nary a ripple – he’s so disconnected from vital operations that nobody would even notice he was gone. Otherwise, he should be up on charges, most definitely beginning with contempt of Congress.
John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at email@example.com.
Fast and Furious: Eric HolderWe 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
- 06-08-2012, 10:08 AM #4How about those wiretap applications, smuggled out of Justice by a whistleblower
- 06-08-2012, 01:04 PM #5
Knew and approved:
Wiretaps show DOJ knew about 'gunwalking'
Fast and Furious wiretap information obtained by Congress
By Sharyl Attkisson
The lead House Republican investigating Operation Fast and Furious, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), today said senior Justice Department officials had specific information that their federal agents were using controversial "gunwalking" tactics.
Justice Department officials have consistently denied that was the case. But today in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Issa revealed that he has reviewed sealed wiretap applications in the case, which were signed off on the authority of Holder's Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. Issa wrote Holder "having seen the wiretap applications, we now know that the information coming from the (Justice) Department has been misleading. That must stop."
Issa and others familiar with the wiretap applications say they contain a "remarkable level of detail about these objectionable tactics." That appears contrary to Holder's testimony to Congress on Nov. 8, 2011 when Holder stated, "I'd be surprised if the tactics themselves about gunwalking were actually contained in those, in those [wiretap] applications. I have not seen them, but I would be surprised [if] that were the case." Holder later made a similar statement to Congress on Feb. 2, 2012.
"The wiretap applications obtained by the [House Oversight] Committee show such statements made by senior [Justice] Department officials... to be false and misleading," said Issa's letter. He added the applications "detail specific actions taken by agents in Fast and Furious. This includes conscious decisions not to interdict weapons that agents knew were illegally purchased by smugglers taking weapons to Mexico," also called "gunwalking."
Continue reading here
Fast and Furious wiretap information obtained by Congress - Political Hotsheet - CBS News
Well, that's something you don't see often, senior officials at
Department of Justice getting caught up in wiretaps and revealing
We might actually be seeing some serious progress now in the
Congressional hearings on the government gunrunning program called
'Fast and Furious'.
It'll be interesting to watch how Eric Holder tries to 'spin' this
The 'Fast and Furious' scandal: Knew and approved: Wiretaps show DOJ knew about 'gunwalking'
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
- 06-08-2012, 01:27 PM #6
Judge Napolitano on Fast and Furious: Heat Is Hotter Than Ever on Eric Holder
by Fox and Friends Posted in: Darrell Issa, Eric Holder, Fast and Furious, Judge Napolitano
Things got very heated on Capitol Hill Thursday during Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony in the Fast and Furious scandal. The committee says it has documents which contradict the attorney general’s claim that senior officials at the Justice Department knew nothing about the gunrunning scandal.
Judge Napolitano broke it all down on Fox and Friends, saying that it’s not exactly clear what documents the committee, and Congressman Issa in particular, have in their possession, but it’s believed that Issa has affidavits that reference Fast and Furious that would have had to have been signed by a high-ranking justice official. “If it was approved by a high-ranking justice official in Washington, D.C., before they were filed, then we know that the Justice Department knew about this earlier than the attorney general has stated a half dozen times under oath,” said Judge Napolitano.
The issue gets even more complicated because the affidavits were provided to Congressman Issa illegally. “These people that gave these documents to Congressman Issa, they are helping us get to the truth. On the other hand, they did violate federal law, which keeps secret these affidavits unless and until someone’s charged and information obtained from the search warrant is going to be used to prosecute that person.”
In conclusion, Napolitano said, “Bottom line, the heat is hotter on Attorney General Holder, his situation is less stable as the chief law enforcement officer of the land, and we’re five and a half months to the presidential election.”
[/b]Video at link below[/b]
Judge Napolitano on Fast and Furious: Heat Is Hotter Than Ever on Eric Holder | Fox News InsiderWe 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
- 06-09-2012, 08:43 AM #7
Holder appoints two prosecutors to probe national security leaks
By Jeremy Herb - 06/08/12 07:16 PM ET
Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday appointed two U.S. Attorneys to head an investigation into a recent series of national security leaks.
Holder appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen Jr. and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod Rosenstein to investigate and criminally prosecute “possible unauthorized disclosures of classified information.”
“The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated,” Holder said in a statement. “The Justice Department takes seriously cases in which government employees and contractors entrusted with classified information are suspected of willfully disclosing such classified information to those not entitled to it, and we will do so in these cases as well.”
The announcement of the two prosecutors comes as Republicans in Congress are calling for a special counsel to investigate the leaks independent of the Obama administration.
Republicans say that they are concerned the sources of the leaks could possibly influence an internal investigation.
Holder said he has notified the Judicial and Intelligence Committees about the appointments and will continue to provide more information, as appropriate.
One complication is that Machen is an Obama donor. Since 2000, Machen has donated $5,800 to Democrats or Democratic organizations — $4,350 went to Obama. All of the donations came before Machen was tapped by Obama to serve as U.S. attorney.
Republicans may seize on Machen's donations as they push for an independent probe.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) first called for a special counsel on Tuesday, and he’s also accused the White House of leaking information to help President Obama’s reelection chances.
Obama rejected McCain’s accusations in a news conference — calling them “offensive” — and the White House has flatly rejected congressional calls for a special counsel to investigate the leaks.
Rosenstein was appointed by former President George W. Bush and was among only three U.S. attorneys out of 93 nationwide that was kept on by Obama, according to a 2011 article by The Washington Post.
This article was updated at 9:40 p.m.
Holder appoints two prosecutors to probe national security leaks - The Hill's DEFCON Hill
Amazing how fast he does this investigation, but for fast and furious and illegals breaking our laws...nadaa
Chris Hedges…Journalist and author