Issa subpoenas Holder, DoJ for full documentation on Fast & Furious

posted at 10:45 am on October 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Word leaked yesterday that Rep. Darrell Issa would subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for the complete set of unredacted documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious.  Today, Issa tells Holder, “You’ve been served“:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced the issuance of a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. for Justice Department documents related to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gun walking scandal.

“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” said Chairman Issa. “The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth.”

The subpoena covers a great deal of specific communication, indicating that the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has specific intentions for the data.  Either that, or Issa has just decided to follow the redactions to see where they lead, which might not be a bad strategy, either. I suspect that this is a lot more than just a fishing expedition, however.

So what’s next?  Presumably Holder will fight the subpoena in court, but he’s going to have to claim executive privilege to quash it — and that opens up a real can of worms.  So far there has been no direct connection to Barack Obama to Fast and Furious, but in order to shield communications from people on this list, the administration will have to claim that it will infringe on Obama’s ability to get advice on this subject — which will mean an admission that Obama was involved in it.  Otherwise, Congress has the right to demand testimony and documentation from the Department of Justice as part of its oversight responsibilities for the executive branch, especially since the DoJ relies in part on Congressional authority.  That’s not at all like the controversy over the dismissal of US Attorneys in the Bush administration, who are appointed by the President and serve at his pleasure, which actually did relate to executive privilege in political decisionmaking.

If Obama wanted to play it smart, he’d release everything in a rush, get in front of the cameras, and accept Holder’s resignation — whether it has been offered or not.  Issa will eventually get the documents, and the longer Obama delays the inevitable in regard to both the documents and Holder, the closer to election time this will all play out.  If Obama was really smart, he’d do all that late on Friday afternoon.

Here’s the text of the subpoena that Issa posted:

In accordance with the attached schedule instructions, you, Eric H. Holder Jr., are required to produce all records in unredacted form described below:

  1. All communications referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious, the Jacob Chambers case, or any Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking case based in Phoenix, Arizona, to or from the following individuals:

a. Eric Holder Jr., Attorney General;

b. David Ogden, Former Deputy Attorney General;

c. Gary Grindler, Office of the Attorney General and former Acting Deputy Attorney General;

d. James Cole, Deputy Attorney General;

e. Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General;

f. Ronald Weich, Assistant Attorney General;

g. Kenneth Blanco, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

h. Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

i. John Keeney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

j. Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;

k. Matt Axelrod, Associate Deputy Attorney General;

l. Ed Siskel, former Associate Deputy Attorney General;

m. Brad Smith, Office of the Deputy Attorney General;

n. Kevin Carwile, Section Chief, Capital Case Unit, Criminal Division;

o. Joseph Cooley, Criminal Fraud Section, Criminal Division; and,

p. James Trusty, Acting Chief, Organized Crime and Gang Section.

2. All communications between and among Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and Executive Office of the President employees, including but not limited to Associate Communications Director Eric Schultz, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any other firearms trafficking cases.

3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision.

4. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to interdict weapons that had been illegally purchased or transferred.

5. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where ATF broke off surveillance of weapons and subsequently became aware that those weapons entered Mexico.

6. All documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, including but not limited to documents and communications regarding Zapata’s mission when he was murdered, Form for Reporting Information That May Become Testimony (FD-302), photographs of the crime scene, and investigative reports prepared by the FBI.

7. All communications to or from William Newell, former Special Agent-in-Charge for ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, between:

a. December 14, 2010 to January 25, 2011; and,

b. March 16, 2009 to March 19, 2009.

8. All Reports of Investigation (ROIs) related to Operation Fast and Furious or ATF Case Number 785115-10-0004.

9. All communications between and among Matt Axelrod, Kenneth Melson, and William Hoover referring or relating to ROIs identified pursuant to Paragraph 7.

10. All documents and communications between and among former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., former Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any OCDETF case originating in Arizona.

11. All communications sent or received between:

a. December 16, 2009 and December 18, 2009, and;

b. March 9, 2011 and March 14, 2011, to or from the following individuals:

  • Emory Hurley, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
  • Michael Morrissey, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
  • Patrick Cunningham, Chief, Criminal Division, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
  • David Voth, Group Supervisor, ATF; and,
  • Hope MacAllister, Special Agent, ATF.

12. All communications sent or received between December 15, 2010 and December 17, 2010 to or from the following individuals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona:

a. Dennis Burke, former United States Attorney;

b. Emory Hurley, Assistant United States Attorney;

c. Michael Morrissey, Assistant United States Attorney; and,

d. Patrick Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division.

13. All communications sent or received between August 7, 2009 and March 19, 2011 between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual; Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer; and, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.

14. All communications sent or received between August 7, 2009 and March 19, 2011 between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual and any Department of Justice employee based in Mexico City referring or relating to firearms trafficking initiatives, Operation Fast and Furious or any firearms trafficking case based in Arizona, or any visits by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer to Mexico.

15. Any FD-302 relating to targets, suspects, defendants, or their associates, bosses, or financiers in the Fast and Furious investigation, including but not limited to any FD-302s ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister provided to ATF leadership during the calendar year 2011.

16. Any investigative reports prepared by the FBI or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) referring or relating to targets, suspects, or defendants in the Fast and Furious case.

17. Any investigative reports prepared by the FBI or DEA relating to the individuals described to Committee staff at the October 5, 2011 briefing at Justice Department headquarters as Target Number 1 and Target Number 2.

18. All documents and communications in the possession, custody or control of the DEA referring or relating to Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta.

19. All documents and communications between and among FBI employees in Arizona and the FBI Laboratory, including but not limited to employees in the Firearms/Toolmark Unit, referring or relating to the firearms recovered during the course of the investigation of Brian Terry’s death.

20. All agendas, meeting notes, meeting minutes, and follow-up reports for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys between March 1, 2009 and July 31, 2011, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious.

21. All weekly reports and memoranda for the Attorney General, either directly or through the Deputy Attorney General, from any employee in the Criminal Division, ATF, DEA, FBI, or the National Drug Intelligence Center created between November 1, 2009 and September 30, 2011.

22. All surveillance tapes recorded by pole cameras inside the Lone Wolf Trading Co. store between 12:00 a.m. on October 3, 2010 and 12:00 a.m. on October 7, 2010.

Note: As far as I know, there is no relation between myself and the Michael Morrissey listed in the subpoena.

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Comment pages: 1 2

You forgot your sarc tag! Or you are too inattentive or not analytical enough to have gleaned exactly how incredibly explosive this is going to be.

RedLizard64 on October 12, 2011 at 11:33 AM

It would be a total waste of a sarc tag. They aren’t free ya know.

katy the mean old lady on October 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

22. All surveillance tapes recorded by pole cameras inside the Lone Wolf Trading Co. store between 12:00 a.m. on October 3, 2010 and 12:00 a.m. on October 7, 2010.

whoa!

ted c on October 12, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Lone Wolf Trading Co. had a break-in. If I recall correctly, Andre Howard, the owner who was cooperating with the BATFE, said his cameras mysteriously malfunctioned. He also suspected the BATFE conducted the burglary. The BATFE installed cameras (used to route live video of straw sales straight to Melson’s office in DC) might have been running.

pambi on October 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM

That was Dodson.

novaculus on October 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

This would never had happened if the Republicans did not win the Senate…this is how important elections, beside the President, are.

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Uh, the Republicans didn’t win the Senate.

Your point is still valid though.

VelvetElvis on October 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

House.

Barnestormer on October 12, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Oooops….projection?
I meant to say one of the houses…but just got so darn excited…thanks for the correction.

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

That was Dodson.

novaculus on October 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Awwww….the plot thickens, there is so much more to this…
Well, if it’s over quick, Holder will be released at the end of Obama’s term, next year…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Note: As far as I know, there is no relation between myself and the Michael Morrissey listed in the subpoena.

Burke, Hurley, Morrissey, Cunningham?

As someone of Irish descent I sure hope one of these come clean.

Firmworm on October 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM

That munching and crunching sound is the Justice Department and ATF eating paper, and that snapping and zapping sound is e-mail being obliterated.

Issa and Grassley should have gone in with no-knock warrants.

Woody

woodcdi on October 12, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Expected Timeline:
————————————
A court fight on Executive Privilege through the autumn, 2011;
Hearings in front of Congress with a subdued but chastened Holder, early 2012;
Blockbuster revelations in the summer of 2012, to match the summer heat;
Arrests at the end of the summer, 2012, into September, with perpwalks;
High profile public revelations, reported by a reluctant media, October, 2012;
Daily statements by high-profile Republican leadership about corrupt admin;
October, 2012, media tips hand about love for Ø fading into background;
November, 2012 Cain / Gingrich win in landslide, Senate goes 70+ (R), House remains super-majority (R);
December, 2012, armed guards posted at White House to prevent looting.

ExpressoBold on October 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM

23. Video of Michelle Obama continuing to eat everything in sight during commercial breaks on the Paula Deen show.

Chuck Schick on October 12, 2011 at 12:04 PM

December, 2012, armed guards posted at White House to prevent looting.

ExpressoBold on October 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM

From the inside.

VegasRick on October 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Gonna have to stock up on popcorn, this is going to be a long show.

iurockhead on October 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Well, if it’s over quick, Holder will be released at the end of Obama’s term, next year…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM

He and Rahm already have signed pardons in their hip pockets with only the blank spot at the top for date waiting to be filled in. This isn’t Eric’s first rodeo.

a capella on October 12, 2011 at 12:11 PM

“— which will mean an admission that Obama was involved in it.”

Oops…!

Seven Percent Solution on October 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM

From the inside.

VegasRick on October 12, 2011 at 12:05 PM

.
Yeah, sure, that’s what I meant BUT I don’t think Trumka or Hoffa live at the White House and, well, union thugs may have a vested interest in seeing a few thousand documents carted off for ‘insurance’ purposes.

ExpressoBold on October 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Note: As far as I know, there is no relation between myself and the Michael Morrissey listed in the subpoena.

That’s what they always say…hear those helicopters? Can’t see them but they are there…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Yeah, sure, that’s what I meant BUT I don’t think Trumka or Hoffa live at the White House and, well, union thugs may have a vested interest in seeing a few thousand documents carted off for ‘insurance’ purposes.

ExpressoBold on October 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM

It is almost impossible to do that now, since most everything is scanned and backed up on computers (off site)…yes things can be erased, but that is against the law, with basically the same penalties as perjury…and a “paper” trail follows that also.
They have learned a lot since Nixon and the missing 18 minutes…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM

3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision

Hmm, that is an interesting request and caught my eye. If this “aint” a fishin’ trip, what do you suppose this is all about?

JusDreamin on October 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Note: As far as I know, there is no relation between myself and the Michael Morrissey listed in the subpoena.

Unforced denials like this are always suspicious, Ed. ;)

lorien1973 on October 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Question:

With the breaking news relating to Iran being involved with the Mexican Cartels…. Could we deduce that Holder is arming Iranian terrorists through Mexico and his F&F debacle? Egg on his face?

/Just curious

Key West Reader on October 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Oooops….projection?

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

I’m pulling for prescience.

Barnestormer on October 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM

It’s good to see that Issa’s committee is asking about the Zapata murder an agent at ICE. He seems to have been forgotten amid the furor of the Border Patrol agent’s murder.

Vince on October 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Do you mean the 2 who were ambushed across the border in their vehicle???

Exactly. This was not random, it was a specific hit, on specific targets for a reason. Was that reason a msg to other whistle blowers? Were they known to have something (codes, radio, documents) of importance? Were they about to spill something?

We’ll probably never know.

orbitalair on October 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision

Hmm, that is an interesting request and caught my eye. If this “aint” a fishin’ trip, what do you suppose this is all about?

JusDreamin on October 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Targets:

Kevin M. O’Reilly, the director of North American Affairs for the White House national security staff

Dan Restrepo, the president’s senior Latin American advisor

Greg Gatjanis, a White House national security official.

In late 2010 Agent William Newell (Phoenix SAC) sent O’Reilly e-mails describing the program. They also reportedly spoke on the phone. Newell briefed Restrepo and Gatjanis. If I recall correctly, that was briefing material for Obama who was making a visit to Mexico. Obama was likely briefed again before the Univision interview.

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

novaculus on October 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

C-BS “News” broke this story. But they are not reporting this latest development, at least not on their radio newscasts.

Del Dolemonte on October 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Unshockingly, this isn’t even mentioned on most of the MSM front pages. Imagine had this been Bush’s AG and DOJ being subpoenaed, it’d be headline news. Now? Not so much.

William Teach on October 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Unshockingly, this isn’t even mentioned on most of the MSM front pages. Imagine had this been Bush’s AG and DOJ being subpoenaed, it’d be headline news. Now? Not so much.

William Teach on October 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Haven’t really seen it mentioned in the MSM… At least not as a major story like the OWS heroes.Once again I will mention if this were Bush….

sandee on October 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM

C-BS “News” broke this story. But they are not reporting this latest development, at least not on their radio newscasts.

Del Dolemonte on October 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Ditto for their 2 PM news update.

Del Dolemonte on October 12, 2011 at 2:10 PM

^^ oops.. I meant Witholder.
Reported in the ChiTrib, caught my attention, I guess.

pambi on October 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

It is almost impossible to do that now, since most everything is scanned and backed up on computers (off site)…yes things can be erased, but that is against the law, with basically the same penalties as perjury…and a “paper” trail follows that also.
They have learned a lot since Nixon and the missing 18 minutes…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM

.
LOLz !!!! I hate to break it to you but Ø and the rest of the gang have a penchant for making up their own rules. Anytime there is human interaction, a requirement to “do something” to follow a procedure, there is opportunity to “work around” the procedure.
.
Ø and his handlers are quite the scofflaws with their own opinions about what is lawful and what is “procedure.”

ExpressoBold on October 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

pambi on October 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Uh oh is right.

A new scandal.

I’m not a bit surprised.

I’d guess there are going to be some Hillary supporters who stay home next November.

INC on October 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM

“…Note: As far as I know, there is no relation between myself and the Michael Morrissey listed in the subpoena.”

You will find out soon enough…

Rightyismighty on October 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM

That’s a pretty long list of a request for production. I bet none of it is released. None.

madmonkphotog on October 12, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Chuck Schick on October 12, 2011 at 12:04 PM

If they release that, I’ll have a hard time keeping MY lunch down.

Mini-14 on October 12, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Kate Pavlich @ TownHall

Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Democrat Elijah Cummings has released a statement calling the decision to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder in order to gain information about Operation Fast and Furious a “political stunt” and “deep-sea expedition.”

“As I have said all along, Fast and Furious was a terrible mistake with tragic consequences,” said Cummings. “The Committee is right to investigate what went wrong and why, but we must do so in a fair and responsible manner.”

“This subpoena is a deep-sea fishing expedition and a gross abuse of the Committee’s authority. It demands tens of thousands of pages of highly sensitive law enforcement and national security materials that have never been requested before and are completely unrelated to Operation Fast and Furious,” said Cummings. “Rather than legitimate fact-gathering, this looks more like a political stunt.”

LOL, I’m surprised he didn’t use the words “Fake Scandal”.

Del Dolemonte on October 12, 2011 at 4:16 PM

LOL, I’m surprised he didn’t use the words “Fake Scandal”.

Del Dolemonte on October 12, 2011 at 4:16 PM

.
Right! What would Elijah Cummings know about a political stunt? Just don’t snitch, ya’ heah? Ah’ight!

ExpressoBold on October 12, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I am getting curious now that the only casualties are mexican citizens and Border Patrol agents on our side. And all this follows after Fitzgeralds involvement with RAMOS and COMPEAN…everyone remember them? Any chance that somehow Holder et al tapped into Fitzgerals and they are indeed arming terrorists to overwhelm our southern exposure so that a crisis is conveniently available to NOT waste? Anybody have any leads on possibly tying all this together…and frankly at this poit aI am so concerned I don’t care if it takes out Bush also…clean out ALL corruption wherever we may find it!

RedLizard64 on October 12, 2011 at 5:23 PM

. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision

Hmm, that is an interesting request and caught my eye. If this “aint” a fishin’ trip, what do you suppose this is all about?

JusDreamin on October 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Isn’t Univision the same group that just tried to Blackmail Rubio with tha story about his brother?

RedLizard64 on October 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Link? For Sutton + Fitzgerald…who is the puppet master?

RedLizard64 on October 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Barry won’t throw Holder under the bus. Holder knows too much. And he’s not going to take the rap alone. Especially if the AG of Mexico grows a set and starts filing charges in the World Court.

GarandFan on October 12, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Comment pages: 1 2