Holder to Issa: Let’s meet, face to face
posted at 5:21 pm on June 14, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
In response to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa’s letter Wednesday — in which, in a nutshell, Issa wrote that he would also like to avoid contempt proceedings and would be willing to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder if and when Holder would actually produce some of the documents required by last year’s Congressional subpoena instead of just more useless blather — Eric Holder has requested a specific meeting-time with Chairman Issa.
“Thank you for your letter dated June 13, 2012. I appreciate that the Committee has narrowed its request for information related to its review of Operation Fast and Furious and now no longer seeks sensitive law enforcement information arising out of that investigation. We have repeatedly expressed concern that the production of such materials would undermine the integrity and independence of the Department’s core law enforcement operations. The Committee’s decision not to insist on the production of those material is an important step forward in this accommodation process.
In the last week, I have testified before both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the Department is prepared to compromise with the Committee in order to answer the questions set forth in the May 18, 2012, letter to me from you and House Leaders. I reiterate that offer today with a specific focus on the collection of documents to which you referred in your letter to me of June 13. More specifically, the Department is prepared to provide documents that, while outside the scope of the Committee’s interest in the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious, are responsive to how the Department’s understanding of the facts regarding that matter evolved throughout 2011 and how the Department’s understanding of the facts regarding that matter evolved throughout 2011 and how the Department came to withdraw its February 4, 2011, letter to Senator Grassley. The Department is willing to accommodate the Committee’s interest in those materials.”
“The record in this matter reflects that until allegations about the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious were made public, Department leadership was aware of those tactics.”
“The Department’s willingness to provide these materials is a serious, good faith effort to bring this matter to an amicable resolution.”
“I continue to believe that a meeting is required both to assure that there are no misunderstanding about this matter and to confirm that the elements of the proposal we are making will be deemed sufficient to render the process of contempt unnecessary. I seek your direct engagement for precisely that reason, and I propose that the meeting occur by Monday, June 18, 2012.
Not so fast there, Holder — Republicans are still (justifiably) skeptical that you’ll actually provide anything of substance.
A GOP committee source threw some cold water on the letter, however, saying there is “still uncertainty about what the attorney general intends to offer.” …
The GOP committee source said the wording appears to indicate that Holder will provide a “selective telling” of the period rather than “full disclosure” of the relevant communications. …
“If the Attorney General decides to produce these subpoenaed documents, I am confident we can reach agreement on other materials and render the process of contempt unnecessary,” Issa said in a Monday release announcing the scheduling of the committee’s contempt vote.
Monday it is, then. The information that Eric Holder decides to finally release to the committee will in all likelihood determine whether next Wednesday’s scheduled contempt vote will move forward or not — despite Democrats’ continued complaints that this is all just some manufactured, politicized Republican witch-hunt.
House Democrats assailed Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Thursday for moving forward with a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the move “irresponsible, unprecedented and contrary to the rule of law.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, distributed an eight-page memo Thursday detailing the minority’s objections to the contempt vote. The memo was paired with a four-page document that claims to describe the politicization of Issa’s investigation into the failed gun-tracking operation “Fast and Furious.”
The move to place Holder in contempt, Cummings said, is an “extreme and blatant abuse of the congressional contempt power that undermines the credibility of the committee.”
You know what else qualifies as “political” and an “abuse of power”? A department of the executive branch of the United States government possibly fomenting a deadly, illegal gunwalking operation to undermine Americans’ gun rights and resulting in multiple deaths. That’s pretty political, too.