Report: House contempt vote on Holder scheduled for, er ... Thursday

And a good thing too. I always worry that we’ll run out of content later in the week as news slows down. Right now, on Thursday, all I’ve got penciled in as possible blog material is … the biggest Supreme Court case of our lifetime.

Alternate headline: “House GOP leadership really, really doesn’t want voters paying attention to these Fast & Furious hearings.”

The House is scheduled to vote on recommendations that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. be held in contempt of Congress on Thursday, according to House Republican aides.

Republican leaders plan to bring the issue to the floor on Thursday, meaning lawmakers likely will vote on contempt charges on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to announce its ruling on the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care reform law.

The timing likely deprives advocates for contempt charges of the big headlines they might have received if the vote were held another day this week.

Remember, they’re supposed to be playing a game of chicken with Obama and Holder designed to get them to cough up the documents that Issa wants. The more political heat they apply, the more likely it is that O will blink. The last thing you’d want to do in that case is use your nuclear weapon on a day when the media will be so consumed with covering another story that the blast will hardly be felt. By scheduling it this way, Boehner and Cantor are essentially choosing to minimize the pressure on the White House, signaling that they’d rather wrist-slap Holder by sanctioning him at a moment when no one’s paying attention than turn this into a true power struggle in the middle of the campaign. Presumably, once the contempt vote is held, the next step will be for the House to file a civil suit requesting that the documents be produced and then that’ll get bogged down in legal procedure and slip quietly off the radar screen before election day. Or at least, that’s how it looks. What am I missing here?

Maybe the GOP should settle for a compromise: Drop the broader document demand in return for Holder producing just one key e-mail — which he’s already admitted isn’t covered by executive privilege.

A single internal Department of Justice email could be the smoking-gun document in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal — if it turns out to contain what congressional investigators have said it does.

The document would establish that wiretap application documents show senior DOJ officials knew about and approved the gunwalking tactic in Fast and Furious. This is the opposite of what Attorney General Eric Holder and House oversight committee ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings have claimed…

Ken Melson, now the former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, purportedly sent that email to several DOJ leaders in March 2011. According to Grassley, Melson wrote that he had reviewed the wiretap applications — the same documents Cummings and Holder claim do not show senior DOJ officials knew of or approved gunwalking tactics in Fast and Furious.

Via Mediaite, here’s Brit Hume yesterday on “Fox News Sunday” identifying the likely cause of Boehner’s apprehension.

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David Strom 3:31 PM on November 30, 2022