Why is Holder appearance to Congress delayed?

posted at 8:45 am on March 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Byron York notes that the Department of Justice has delayed today’s appearance of Eric Holder to the Senate Judiciary Committee after a “disastrous” hearing earlier this month.  The Attorney General made headlines when he dodged a question regarding the handling of terrorists by claiming that the US would wind up reading Miranda rights to Osama bin Laden’s corpse:

Why? Word is that it’s because of the signing ceremony for the national health care bill, but well-informed Republicans suspect the occasion may also have given Democrats an opportunity to put off what could turn into another embarrassing performance by the attorney general.

Holder’s recent appearance before a House Appropriations subcommittee was a “disaster,” says one Republican. The attorney general’s insistence that Osama bin Laden will never be taken alive and his odd statement about Mirandizing bin Laden’s corpse; his comparison of bin Laden to Charles Manson; his assertion that the 50 minutes spent questioning Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was a “fairly long period of time” — those and other statements amounted to a blooper reel from just one Holder appearance. In addition, Holder’s testimony made clear that there is still indecision and confusion inside the Obama administration about what to do with 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; postponing Holder’s committee appearance until mid-April gives Team Obama three more weeks to figure out what to do with KSM. “This is about keeping Holder from digging another hole for the administration in a forum where the questioners are better prepared,” says one source.

A source on Capitol Hill confirmed to me that the White House used the ObamaCare signing as their reason to postpone Holder’s appearance at Judiciary.  However, the real reason could be a series of embarrassing admissions in a submission to the committee from the DoJ.  Judiciary had asked for answers on the oft-claimed “hundreds” of terrorists tried in the federal court system, as well as an explanation of how the federal court system can protect national-security information as well as military commissions.  According to this source, the DoJ’s answers confirm exactly what had been suspected — that Holder has not been telling the truth on either point:

In responses submitted to the Judiciary Committee this afternoon, the Department of Justice concedes that military commission trials have better safeguards for protecting classified national security information from leaks than civilian criminal trials.  Although Attorney General Holder has repeatedly testified that civilian criminal trials are just as effective as military commission trials in protecting classified information, even stating that classified information protections in the Military Commissions Act were modeled on the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) used in federal courts, the responses received today (see pp. 29-32) tell a different story.  They acknowledge that the MCA’s classified information protections are better than what is available in federal criminal courts.   In fact, the responses explain how the military commission rules improved upon the civilian criminal rules “to take into account lessons learned in terrorism cases in federal court.”   The Department’s submission to the Committee then details 7 categories of “key differences” between the classified information protections in military commission trials that are not similarly present in the federal criminal law.

A reading of these pages makes clear that the Classified Information Protection Act (CIPA) that would govern federal courts are inferior to the protections provided by military commissions. The DoJ admits this in this passage:

28. Under the Classified Information Protection Act (CIPA), the government may pursue an interlocutory appeal from orders “authorizing the disclosure of classified information . . . or refusing a protective order sought by the United States to prevent the disclosure of classified information.” 18 U.S.C. App. § 7(a). In United States v. Moussaoui, 333 F.3d 509 (4th Cir. 2003), the Fourth Circuit held CIPA did not authorize interlocutory appeals from orders related to the “pretrial disclosure of classified information to the defendant or his attorneys.” Id. at 514.

a. Do you agree that under the Moussaoui decision, the government may not seek immediate review of certain decisions authorizing the pretrial disclosure of classified information? If not, please explain your answer.

Response: In cases involving CIPA within the Fourth Circuit, under the Moussaoui decision, appellate courts lack jurisdiction under CIPA § 7 to entertain an interlocutory appeal by the United States of a district court order allowing a criminal defendant to depose a witness who may possess classified information.

b. Senator Kyl has offered legislation, including an amendment in Committee, to amend CIPA to address the deficiencies in CIPA. Given your decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others in federal court, do you support legislation to address gaps in CIPA that could lead to disclosure of classified information?

Response: While CIPA has generally worked well in both protecting classified information and ensuring fair trials, there may be certain portions which could be usefully updated and clarified.The Administration has not yet taken a position on possible legislation to improve CIPA.

Well, why not? If the Obama administration has taken the position that it wants terrorists captured abroad using intelligence assets to be tried in federal court, shouldn’t Obama first take a position on ensuring that vital, sensitive information doesn’t get exposed? That admission is the entire ballgame, and it makes hash of the argument Holder has propounded that there is no difference between the two venues in terms of national security.

As far as the “hundreds” of terrorists tried in federal courts, the DoJ still can’t find any record of them:

According to today’s submission to the Committee, the Department remains unable to provide any detail to explain the claim that hundreds – specifically over 300 – terrorists have been successfully tried in federal civilian criminal courts. Senator Kyl first asked for this information in May 2009. As of yesterday, the Department could only provide the following response: “The Department is working to develop information responsive to this request and will advise the Committee when it becomes available.”

Here’s the specific question and response on pages 32-33 of the submission:

30. In your opening testimony, you stated that “there are more than 300 convicted international and domestic terrorists currently in Bureau of Prisons custody.” In response to my question, you stated without reservation that you would provide the details regarding these convictions.

Please provide the details regarding each of these convictions, including: (a) the names and dates of the individuals convicted; (b) the offense(s) with which they were charged; (c) the offense(s) for which they were convicted; (d) the sentences imposed; and (e) the year the criminal case was instituted via indictment.

Response: The Department is working to develop information responsive to this request and will advise the Committee when it becomes available.

Yeah, get back to us on that, won’t you? After all, you’re only the Department of Justice … which would have been the agency that actually tried those “hundreds” of terrorists, if it happened at all.

Small wonder Holder isn’t keen on reappearing before Judiciary.  If I were him, after fronting these ridiculous claims the first time, I’d be leery about showing my face as well.


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” However, the real reason could be a series of embarrassing admissions….”

Can we just cut to the chase…this whole administration is an embarrassment.

Electrongod on March 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM

This clown will be gone shortly, in all liklihood. Apparently, it’s OK to be an America-hating race baiter, as long as you don’t make teh Won look bad.

Although it would make sense, in a way, for Holder to be part of the HellCare party, after all, won’t the Justice Dept have to take part in prosecuting those who won’t buy O-Approved insurance?

JamesLee on March 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM

The delay?

MMMMMM, So he can get his story straight?

PappyD61 on March 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM

The real reason is that after the president signs ObamaCare today, there will be no more need for terrorist prosecutions or war or testimony by the Attorney General.

myrenovations on March 23, 2010 at 8:51 AM

As bad as this guy is, he’s far above the likes of Janet Napolitano. This administration is loaded with radicals, which is frightening enough on it’s own merits, but when you look deeper into these critters, you realize that they are not only radicals, they are not qualified.

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Holder lying? His boss must be rubbing off on him.

Holder gone in 2 months.

rbj on March 23, 2010 at 8:53 AM

Great post Ed. Something tells me Holder will be the first 0bowma henchman thrown overboard.

FireBlogger on March 23, 2010 at 8:53 AM

He’ll be gone, and another scumbag will take his place. Does it really matter? His successor will still follow a plan of subverting the US and aiding our enemies.

darwin on March 23, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Great. You’ve got an AG who either doesn’t know US law or is a liar. Or maybe its both. I wonder how long it will be before Holder gets thrown under the bus. Obama has got to know that this crap will ensure a defeat for him at the polls in 2012.

ProfessorMiao on March 23, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Time for subpeonas, hearings, and no more being nice to this corrupt administration. They lie. They bribe. They inflict a naked Rahm Immanuel on gay Congressmen.

Face it, the DOJ and this adminstration is out of control when it comes to coddling terrorists, appeasing our enemies, and pandering to Muslims. Time for it all to stop by any means necessary.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 8:59 AM

The delay?

MMMMMM, So he can get his story straight?

PappyD61 on March 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Sounds right to me. How hard is it to tell the truth?

jwolf on March 23, 2010 at 9:00 AM

He’ll be gone, and another scumbag will take his place. Does it really matter? His successor will still follow a plan of subverting the US and aiding our enemies.

darwin on March 23, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Agreed and will be worse if that is possible.

yoda on March 23, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Good lord . . . Obama’s merry band of crooks are giving “dirtbags” a bad name.

rplat on March 23, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Affirmative Action in action.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2010 at 9:02 AM

As bad as this guy is, he’s far above the likes of Janet Napolitano.

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Just a different type of evil all rooted in some very unsavory ideas about what it means to be an American. They are all traitors to this nation. Nepolitano for her attacks on vets and indifference to stopping Muslim terrorists. Holder for not taking the prosecution of terrorists seriously. The filthy lying dictator in the White House for pandering to Muslims at the expense of national security. Congressional Dems for letting this corrupt administration get away with all their filth.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 9:02 AM

How quickly things change. But DOJ seems to be missing the whole “Justice” thing all the time..

Where is David Iglesias these days? He didn’t even surface to save ACORN!

Remember? Karl Rove was supposed to be using the DOJ to steal elections.

If DOJ can’t do it, why not a Civil Rights Act for terrorists?

IlikedAUH2O on March 23, 2010 at 9:04 AM

I am so pessimistic right now. I honestly believe that BO and the democrooks can get away with anything. The media runs cover for them, they ignore the will of the people, twist the Constitution, and we are helpless to stop it….at least until November. However, once they push this amnesty through, it is over.

evie on March 23, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Maybe we could ask a question or two about how a 9/11 terrorist facilitator could be released.

If by released they mean a hundred yard head start…..then okay.

R Square on March 23, 2010 at 9:06 AM

holder is a nut.

jbh45 on March 23, 2010 at 9:07 AM

What I want someone in Congress to ask this dolt is why it’s ok for the Justice Department to endorse killing OBL but it’s not ok for Navy Seals to punch a resisting terrorist in the gut. “Mr. Holder, would it have been better if the Navy Seals had killed the terrorist vs using extra force in subduing him?”

PatMac on March 23, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Why do all liberals look and act like smelly rats?

txag92 on March 23, 2010 at 9:10 AM

R Square on March 23, 2010 at 9:06 AM

God forbid it should happen, though the bad leadership in DC means it will, but what if we have another set of terrorist atrocities equal to 9/11/01? How does the filthy lying coward and his band of Muslim appeasers get the nation behind them? How do these bastards respond after months of sending the message that America deserves anything it gets (because we support Israel instead of Muslims).

I’m serious here. How does this corrupt administration and the criminals in Congress get the American public behind them in the wake of another massive terrorist attack. The actions over healthcare have forever erased the possibility of trusting this administration and Democrats in general.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 9:11 AM

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Amen to all of that!

Keemo on March 23, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Picture parody: Holder Pyle, D.O.J. (for Gomer Pyle fans): http://optoons.blogspot.com/2010/03/general-mcchrystal-demotes-attorney.html

Mervis Winter on March 23, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Holder will be jettisoned soon, like unnecessary cargo off a diving plane. Obama is a lame duck. He just hasn’t realized it.

kingsjester on March 23, 2010 at 9:16 AM

As I recall when the feds broke in and took Elian Gonzales from his relatives in Miami so the kid could be taken back to Cuba, Holder was criticized for breaking in in the middle of the night.

His response was, “It was 5 a.m., so it wasn’t the middle of the night,” or something like that.

Wethal on March 23, 2010 at 9:18 AM

That bastard has never sounded like anything other than a terrorist defense attorney.

drjohn on March 23, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Rep. Hastings (D) had it right when he said, ‘we make the rules up as we go along’. That’s the way Holder practices law.

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM

He’s an incompetent ideologue who some painted as a centrist because of a few things he said in the past- seemingly to land the very job he has now.

No- not Obama, Holder.

Okay, Obama too.

BKeyser on March 23, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Fact of the matter is that Holder is not being held to the same standards as previous AGs. He is the affirmative action appeaser in the midst of an administration where skin color trumps everything including integrity, competence, and justice.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 9:35 AM

That bastard has never sounded like anything other than a terrorist defense attorney.

That bastard has never sounded continues to sound like anything other than a terrorist defense attorney.

Fixed.

When Republicans retake the House maybe we can find out more about former terrorist defense attorneys who are now inside the ramparts and shooting at us while their boss prattles on about Miranda rights for self professed mass murderers.

The inmates are running the asylum.

R Square on March 23, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Holder=toast

cmsinaz on March 23, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Please provide the details regarding each of these convictions, including: (a) the names and dates of the individuals convicted; (b) the offense(s) with which they were charged; (c) the offense(s) for which they were convicted; (d) the sentences imposed; and (e) the year the criminal case was instituted via indictment.
Response: The Department is working to develop information responsive to this request and will advise the Committee when it becomes available.

Developing? Creating? They have no such records, so they develope them. This entire thing is a sham. Holder, and Obama are complicit. It’s disgusting what these goons have done, and are doing!

capejasmine on March 23, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Here is the Bus he is being thrown under.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwyCoQuhUNA

paragon27x on March 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Rep. Hastings (D) had it right when he said, ‘we make the rules up as we go along’. That’s the way Holder practices law.
Kissmygrits on March 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Ah, yes, Alcee Hastings, that beacon of integrity, impeached for bribery and perjury by a Democrat-controlled House in 1988, and removed from the federal judiciary by the U.S Senate in 1989. Three years later, he got himself elected to the same House that impeached him, and he’s been safely feeding at the public trough from his exquisitely gerrymandered district ever since.

As aggravating as some Republicans may be, I don’t think they have a specimen that can come close to Hastings’ illustrious career.

If Holder gets dumped for his stupidity, Hastings would fit right in as his replacement.

Nichevo on March 23, 2010 at 10:03 AM

” However, the real reason could be a series of embarrassing admissions….”

Can we just cut to the chase…this whole administration is an embarrassment.

Electrongod on March 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM

On April 1, 2010, the Obama administration will hold a press conference to inform all U.S. citizens that they were part of an elaborate April Fool’s plan for the first sixteen months of his presidency.

Beginning April 2, President Obama will govern more toward the middle.

/

Mark Boabaca on March 23, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Maybe Breitbart really does have something on him.

fossten on March 23, 2010 at 10:12 AM

the delay is so Holder can suddenly resign for personal reasons, thus avoiding having to appear at all.

JKotthoff on March 23, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Why do all liberals look and act like smelly rats?

txag92 on March 23, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Genetics. That’s what happens when you have a rat for a father and an idiot for a mother.

Subsunk

Subsunk on March 23, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Perhaps it is taking Mr. Holder a bit to get through the book that Obama sent him: ‘Seppuku for Dummies’

ajacksonian on March 23, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Why is Holder appearance to Congress delayed?

They are prepping him for his trip under the bus.

uknowmorethanme on March 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Not only is the administration full of totalitarians, but they are incompetent to boot. They can’t even put up a good front. It’s time to kick the pins out from under these freakazoids. November may be too late.

BetseyRoss on March 23, 2010 at 10:58 AM

He behind bars? (pun intended)

Wade on March 23, 2010 at 10:59 AM

FTF!

Fire The Fool!

Holder needs a miner’s helmet, his head is so far up his a$$.

One more choice Obama moron fervidly undermining AmeriKKKa.

profitsbeard on March 23, 2010 at 11:12 AM

What would they respond to the question if Kyl asked for just thirty of the “over 300″? Would that response also be “we will get back to you”?

burt on March 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM

They all gotta go. This entire administration and the congress are a disgrace.

dogsoldier on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

dogsoldier on March 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM

true true

Wade on March 23, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Just goes to show what happens when you have an “Affirmative Action President” appointing an “Affirmative Action Attorney General”.

GarandFan on March 23, 2010 at 12:03 PM

How does this corrupt administration and the criminals in Congress get the American public behind them in the wake of another massive terrorist attack. The actions over healthcare have forever erased the possibility of trusting this administration and Democrats in general.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Another massive attack on the U.S., and the American People will be escorting all these asshats to a wall someplace. Americans will always take care of America and each other in times of dire need. Well…most of us will.

I agree, there is something big coming our way and it will not be pretty. Frankly, seeing some of the things this administration has done, it is almost as if they are setting the stage for these tragedies to occur. We have a very nondescript Mosque in a strip center near where I live, normally there is a full parking lot for morning and evening prayers. Lately, there have been substantially fewer people attending prayers. I believe this is an indicator of something coming.

I have asked a few people that I know that live near the mega Mosque in North Irving if they have noticed the same thing…and they have. The Mosque near me is predominately attended by Pakistani’s. Bad things coming. Be prepared.

PakviRoti on March 23, 2010 at 12:21 PM

.test

PakviRoti on March 23, 2010 at 12:23 PM

How does this corrupt administration and the criminals in Congress get the American public behind them in the wake of another massive terrorist attack. The actions over healthcare have forever erased the possibility of trusting this administration and Democrats in general.

highhopes on March 23, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Another massive attack on the U.S., and the American People will be escorting all these a$$hats to a wall someplace. Americans will always take care of America and each other in times of dire need. Well…most of us will.

I agree, there is something big coming our way and it will not be pretty. Frankly, seeing some of the things this administration has done, it is almost as if they are setting the stage for these tragedies to occur. We have a very nondescript Mosque in a strip center near where I live, normally there is a full parking lot for morning and evening prayers. Lately, there have been substantially fewer people attending prayers. I believe this is an indicator of something coming.

I have asked a few people that I know that live near the mega Mosque in North Irving if they have noticed the same thing…and they have. The Mosque near me is predominately attended by Pakistani’s. Bad things coming. Be prepared.

PakviRoti on March 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

“Family matters” – he’ll probably quit soon. I fear for who’s next to take his place.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Hmmm; wouldn’t this be the perfect time for Holder to testify, when the cameras are elsewhere?

Spitfire9 on March 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM

He will resign before mid-April. Then he will go back to Covington Burling and start lobbying for terrorists to be tried in civilian courts.

djaymick on March 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

It doesn’t matter what happens to Holder or any Ob+ama flunky, flack or lackey. It’s all about the O and always has been. His eyes are fixed on the prize (fascist America) and everything swirling around him is little more than a minor distraction. I’m glad that people are working to expose and discredit his underlings, but the truth is that socialist Ob+ama-fellators are a dime a dozen and easily replaced. We will not rid ourselves of Ob+ama through his hired help. They don’t matter. He does.

Extrafishy on March 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

you RACISTS! ugh.

leftnomore on March 23, 2010 at 2:13 PM