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WestVirginiaRebel

House Panel Recommends Contempt Case Against Holder

117 posts in this topic

obama-claims-executive-privilege-in-gun-case.html?_r=1NY Times:

WASHINGTON — Republicans on the House oversight committee voted on Wednesday to recommend holding Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress in a dispute over internal Justice Department documents related to the botched gun trafficking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

The 23-to-17 vote, which fell along party lines, came after President Obama invoked executive privilege to withhold the documents and communications among Justice Department officials last year as they grappled with the Congressional investigation into the case. As part of the operation, weapons bought in the United States were allowed to reach a Mexican drug cartel in an effort to build a bigger case.

It was the first time that Mr. Obama had asserted the privilege since taking office, and it sharpened the long-festering dispute between Mr. Holder and Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Democrats called for the panel to hold off voting on the contempt citation during an often acrimonious partisan debate, but Republicans pressed forward with it.

 

Deputy Attorney General James Cole said in a letter to Mr. Issa that the president was claiming privilege over the documents, although he suggested that there might yet be a way to negotiate the release of some of the contested documents.

“We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the committee’s concerns and to accommodate the committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” Mr. Cole said in the letter. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the department remains willing to work with the committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.”

________

 

Thus it begins...

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@WestVirginiaRebel

 

Holder contempt vote passes in committee, heads to the House for a vote

***UPDATE: HOUSE VOTES NEXT WEEK***

 

Talk about an all day hearing to get to one vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. But regardless it passed the committee 23-17 and will head to the full House for a vote. Talk about Awesomeness. I’ll let you know when the House votes as soon as I find out but I believe it’s sometime next week.

 

Also here is an explanation to what a contempt citation would mean.

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Holder retracts claim Bush team knew about Fast and Furious

Paul Bedard

6/20/12

 

In a second major retraction over its version of the the gun-walking scandal, the Justice Department has retracted Attorney General Eric Holder's charge in a hearing last week that his Bush administration predecessor had been briefed on the affair.

 

In a memo just released by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa senator reveals that Holder also didn't apologize to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey for dragging him into the Fast & Furious scandal that is headed for a major legal clash and likely contempt of Congress charge against Holder.

 

According to Grassley's memo, Justice said that Holder "inadvertently" made the charge against Mukasey in a hearing.

 

(Snip)

 

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Nick Stuart

 

How bad is Fast & Furious? It's so bad the Dems are trying to change the topic to the economy (HT Adam Baldwin).

 

LMFAO.gif

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American Spectator

 

 

Holder Has Long Been Contemptible

 

While the House Oversight Committee has now recommended that Congress hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his conduct during the Fast and Furious scandal, one could make the case that Holder has long held the American public in contempt.

After all, how many cabinet secretaries begin their tenure by calling his fellow Americans "a nation of cowards" where it concerned the question of racism? Never mind that America has become a nation where racism is not only unacceptable but a nation where, outside of being called a murderer or a rapist, nothing is worse than being called a racist.

If anyone has behaved cowardly where it concerns racism, it is Holder. What can one say about a man who sees fit to drop a successfully prosecuted case of voter intimidation? If two members of the Ku Klux Klan had held a baton in front of polling station in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to intimidate black voters, Holder would have spared no effort to prosecute them. But when it comes to two members of the New Black Panthers holding a baton in front of polling station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to intimidate white voters, Holder could not care less. During testimony before a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in March 2011, Holder said:

When you compare what people endured in the South in the '60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.

No, the great disservice here is an Attorney General who does not comprehend the basic legal concept of "equal justice under law." Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United States, not the Attorney General of his people.

Yet what can we expect of a public official who does not have the courtesy to read legislation he contended would lead to increased racial profiling? Oh, pardon me. Holder did say he "glanced" at the Arizona immigration law. It would have been nice if Holder taken the copy of S.B. 1070 that Texas Congressman Ted Poe so generously offered him. Then again it probably wouldn't have made a difference. Holder's Department of Injustice was going to sue Arizona whether he read the bill or not.

 

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/06/21/holder-has-long-been-contempti

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While Obama Stonewalled Congress, His Campaign Called for Transparency

Lachlan Markay

June 20, 2012

 

President Obama invoked executive privilege to prevent further congressional oversight of the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious operation on the same day it bemoaned the supposed lack of transparency among some conservative non-profits.

 

Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, touted efforts on the campaign’s website to get Crossroads GPS, a conservative super PAC, to disclose its donors. But while Messina was hyping political transparency, Obama himself was ensuring the opacity of one of his Justice Department’s most controversial programs.

 

On Wednesday morning, the president opted to stonewall the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s efforts to obtain documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, which facilitated the transportation of thousands of firearms across the southern border, where they were handed off to Mexican drug cartels with the foreknowledge of some top DOJ officials.

(Snip)

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Nick Stuart

 

How bad is Fast & Furious? It's so bad the Dems are trying to change the topic to the economy (HT Adam Baldwin).

 

LMFAO.gif

 

It did get my attention yesterday when I heard Nancy Pelosi wonder why the Republicans weren't concentrating on jobs. blink.png

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Quotes of the day

 

posted at 10:00 pm on June 21, 2012 by Allahpundit

 

 

The House committee investigating Fast and Furious has received more than 7,600 documents from the Justice Department, but Republican lawmakers say none addresses who approved the gunrunning probe, who failed to stop it before a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and why department officials initially lied to Congress about it.

Now the panel has its sights set on an additional 1,300 pages of documents it believes will answer those questions and also expose a political cover-up at Justice…

The committee said it is concerned about and wants to see documents outlining continued complaints by whistleblowers that they faced retaliation after testifying about the program; allegations by the former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that Justice Department officials sought to protect political appointees; and the nine-month delay before the department formally withdrew its false denial to Congress about allowing guns to flow over the border to Mexico.

 

***

The Republicans shamelessly turned what should be a routine matter into a pointless constitutional confrontation. And the White House responded Scissors-32x32.png Read More

http://hotair.com/ar...f-the-day-1064/

Allahpundit post is huh.pnghuh.png

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Contempt for Rule of Law

"Let justice be done though the heavens should fall." --John Adams

 

Border Agent Brian Terry, killed by Fast and Furious

Since at least April, the economic "recovery," such as it was, has nearly ground to a halt. But Barack Obama doesn't want to talk about that. Instead, his politically adept administration is working overtime to come up with as many distractions as possible to keep voters' minds off of the economy. Caveat emptor. Such is the backdrop for this week's events, albeit with a scandal that is far more than mere distraction.

From 2009 to 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran Operation Fast and Furious (a.k.a. Project Gunrunner), ostensibly a program to track U.S.-purchased firearms headed to Mexican drug cartels. Our readers know the history well -- thousands of guns "walked" across the border, and hundreds of lives were lost. The real purpose, of course, was to undermine the Second Amendment by vilifying gun owners and sellers, followed by instituting tougher gun control.

While most of the Leftmedia did their best to ignore the story, recent events forced even the networks to grudgingly acknowledge it as an issue worth coverage. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted 23-17 along party lines Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his lies, inconsistencies and lack of cooperation during the investigation of Fast and Furious. The whole House will vote next week on the matter, and a contempt citation could lead to a civil lawsuit since Holder obviously wouldn't pursue a suit with a U.S. attorney. Holder called the contempt vote "unwarranted, unnecessary and unprecedented," a characterization that better describes Fast and Furious itself.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House committee, requested that the Justice Department release thousands of documents related to the inner workings of Fast and Furious, including details about the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata at the hands of murderers wielding weapons obtained through the ill-conceived operation. DoJ released some 7,000 documents to date, but that's a fraction of what Issa requested, and most of the paperwork handed over is only tangentially related to what the committee is seeking.

On Feb. 4, 2011, the Justice Department sent a letter to Congress denying the operation even existed. Ten months later Scissors-32x32.png Read More http://patriotpost.us/editions/13896/

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P J Tatler

Chicagoland Paper Calls on Obama to Hand Over Fast and Furious Documents

Bryan Preston

6/22/12

 

If Fast and Furious was really just a “botched operation” that began under the previous administration, as White House spokesman Jay Carney claimed Thursday, then why is the president invoking executive privilege to conceal documents? That seems to be the question on the mind of the editorial writers at the Chicago Tribune, which today is calling on the president to hand over the subpoenaed documents.

 

The White House could spare all of us a distracting and damaging battle over executive privilege — a murky principle not defined in the Constitution — if Holder would share these documents with the American people.

 

(Snip)

 

Indeed. Holder’s own offer to deliver a briefing on the documents, but not the documents themselves, should also raise suspicions that the documents contain one or more explosive revelations. Holder has already been caught making conflicting statements and his department delivered a letter on the matter so inaccurate that it was later retracted. Holder’s and the Justice Department’s word on the matter is, at this point, worthless. Only the actual documents should be acceptable. Holder’s deal amounts to the lead suspect in a crime “offering” to tell prosecutors about evidence that may incriminate him, without allowing investigators to examine the evidence for themselves. No competent prosecutor would accept such an obviously flawed offer. It would be a joke anywhere but in the minds, apparently, of Eric Holder and Barack Obama.

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Holder Issa Meeting: 20 Minutes of Nothing

 

June 19, 2012

By Maggie

 

 

Attorney General Eric Holder met privately with Congressman Darrell Issa today after the Department of Justice said it would turn over the thousands (1300) of documents sought by Congress in the Fast and Furious investigation. In anticipation of the meeting, I heard several television pundits on Fox say Holder would surely prefer to turn over the documents rather than face contempt charges. Not so. According to Issa, Holder’s only offering was advice to Issa to end the investigation. Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a vote on Wednesday, June 20th to hold Holder in Contempt of Congress. According to The Wall Street Journal, we the voters will be have the final word (see below). See an update below.

A Contempt of Congress charge means that someone(s) obstructed the work of the United States Congress, which can be, and in this case is, an investigation. The Department of Justice has ignored subpoenas and there is strong evidence that Holder has lied in testimonies before the House and Senate.

Issa was on Fox just a few minutes ago saying his office will be open all night. If the documents appear before the vote, there will be no vote.

However…if Holder is held to be in Contempt of Congress (Wall Street Journal):

The most immediate constitutional mechanism for accountability happens to be the one Mr. Holder is trying to put off—a vote by the House to hold him in contempt for refusing to turn over documents relating to “Fast and Furious.” That was a stupid policy that had tragic results when a weapon smuggled into Mexico by U.S. authorities ended up being used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Should the House hold him in contempt, Mr. Holder would be left with three choices: standing by as a U.S. attorney begins prosecuting him; directing the U.S. attorney not to prosecute him; or invoking executive privilege to justify not releasing the documents Congress seeks.

There are huge downsides to all three. Let’s take them one by one.

A sitting attorney general under federal prosecution would be Scissors-32x32.png Read More

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2012/06/holder-issa-meeting-20-minutes-of-nothing/

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A Note on ‘Fast and Furious,’ Executive Privilege, and the End of the Obama Administration

 

June 22, 2012 - 4:51 am - by Roger Kimball

the-end1-85x85.jpg

 

 

Calm down. The end hasn’t come yet, not quite. But you can feel it coming, a dull, oppressive presence like the heaviness of the air before a storm, or the quickly widening fissures that consumed the House of Usher. Future historians, looking back on the wreck of the Obama administration, will mark with wonder the president’s darkly frivolous assertion of executive privilege this week. It was then, they will say, that his administration, that the president himself, officially entered the Period of Panic and Flailing.

It’s not going to be pretty. Expect a season of recriminations, grandiosities, and sudden reversals. The usual narrative holds that Obama asserted executive privilege, denying Congress the documents it requested in the murderous case of gunwalking called “Fast and Furious” in order to save his Attorney General Eric Holder. Perhaps. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, at the end of the day, this spectacular piece of recklessness wasn’t regarded as the beginning of the end for Eric Holder, who will likely face a Contempt of Congress citation next week. Already, various outlets are preparing the ground by quietly inserting into the discussion the name of Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general under President George W. Bush who was hounded out of office by Democratic zealots after he fired some U.S. attorneys. The idea, I suspect, is to upholster the ground so that when (as I predict) Holder is forced out Obama cheerleaders like the New York Times can resort to the tu quoque strategy: “Well, Bush’s attorney general had to resign, too, and some of his staffers were held in contempt.”

Will the upholstery work? Will it successfully insulate public opinion from the damaging facts of the case? I doubt it. For one thing, the two incidents are screamingly different. As usual, Andy McCarthy outlined the issue with superlative clarity.

[T]he Bush situation involved (a) a non-crime (presidents do not need a reason to fire U.S. attorneys), (B) a non-scandal manufactured into a scandal (Bush 43 fired 8 U.S. attorneys; Clinton had fired 92 of the 93, and for no better reason than partisan patronage after he defeated Bush 41), and © patently improper subpoenas to the president’s personal staffers who are not subject to Senate confirmation and assist him in his constitutional duties. The Obama/Holder situation, to the contrary, involves outrageous government malfeasance in firearms transfers that led to murders, including the killing of a federal agent, and a patently proper subpoena for Scissors-32x32.png Read More

http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/06/22/a-note-on-fast-and-furious-executive-privilege-and-the-end-of-the-obama-administration/

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When Leaders Lie

 

June 22, 2012 - 12:08 am - by Roger L Simon

 

How many lies does a man have to tell before we can call him a liar?

The Ancient Romans said only one, when they gave us the legal dictum Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

That was a pretty stringent requirement. Most of us are not George Washington and one wonders if even George was perfect in his honesty, the cherry tree fable notwithstanding.

Barack Obama is another matter. According to Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith (normally a loyal member of the administration’s media claque), no less than thirty-eight documented falsehoods in the president’s memoir Dreams from My Father were revealed by David Maraniss’s new book Barack Obama: The Story.

What’s interesting about those falsehoods (can we call them lies?) is that they were unprovoked. We are used to presidential lies, most notably from Nixon and Clinton, but we know full well why those men were lying. In fact, in their cases it was obvious. In Obama’s, we do not.

Why was he lying? Self-aggrandizement? To sell books? For political purposes? Dreams from My Father was written before Obama supposedly had presidential ambitions. Or was there a hint, dare I say it, of pathology?

Maraniss almost farcically excuses him by saying the young author’s motivation was to make literature. The historian differentiates between memoirs, in which he says untruths are permissible, and autobiography. As a recent author of a memoir, permit me to say that is utter nonsense. Whether you are writing a memoir or an autobiography (not that there is much difference in their dictionary definitions other than length), you are well aware that others who know the real story could be reading and judging it. You lie at your peril. Obama did so anyway.

Despite being a professional historian, Maraniss is evidently unable to free himself from membership in that same administration claque. (For the view of another professional historian, see my colleague Ron Radosh.) Maraniss may have delivered the facts, or some of them, but he has tried to explain them away in a manner that is both tendentious and ridiculous. You don’t have to be an Ancient Roman to believe there are a lot more lies where those 38 came from. You don’t even have to think, as some do, that Obama didn’t even write the original book by himself, although that accusation is becoming suddenly more credible. Recent events have made them so. (Maraniss should be embarrassed – future historians beware.)

When I speak of “recent events,” I am of course referring to the sudden invocation of executive privilege in the matter of the Fast & Furious scandal in which the president has associated himself with that other documented liar, Scissors-32x32.png Read More

http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2012/06/22/when-leaders-lie/

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Contribute to the Brian Terry Foundation

 

Thank you for supporting the Brian Terry Foundation. Your donation will make possible the ability to honor the memory of slain United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and to create a living legacy in his name.

 

The foundation will seek to honor Brian by providing college scholarships; providing emotional and financial assistance to families of injured and slain Border Patrol agents; raising public awareness of the Fast and Furious investigation; promoting a message of justice, responsibility and accountability within the federal government; recognizing Border Patrol agents for excellence and bravery; and hosting public events that honor Brian Terry's life.

 

If you prefer to contribute by mail, please make checks out to:

 

The Brian Terry Foundation, 2575 E Camelback Road, Dept#3, Phoenix, AZ 85016

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W.H.: Ex-staffer can't be questioned on Fast and Furious

Sharyl Attkisson

6/22/12

 

(CBS News) The White House said a former National Security staffer who communicated with ATF's Special Agent in charge of "Fast and Furious" cannot be interviewed by Congressional investigators.

 

The ATF Special Agent, Bill Newell, testified to Congress in July 2011 that he's a longtime friend with then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly. The two emailed and talked on the phone during the controversial Fast and Furious gunwalking operation, according to documents and Newell's testimony to Congress.

 

In one email exchange about Fast and Furious on Feb. 11, 2011 O'Reilly asked Newell, "Would ATF be willing to put you or others in front of US media that gets pickup in Mexico (CNN en Espanol, perhaps) to tell this story?"

 

(Snip)

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What the.....? It's almost like they are saying "we don't want you to talk to anyone who had anything to do with this." :rolleyes:

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