Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meets to hold hearings into Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner, the ATF’s secret project to track gun running in Mexico by, er, running guns in Mexico. The operation cost the lives of two American agents, and chair Darrell Issa wants to know who authorized it, what involvement ATF Director Kenneth Melson and Attorney General Eric Holder had in approving and/or overseeing the operation, and what kinds of internal objections were ignored in implementing it. The Obama administration has refused to provide documents subpoenaed by Issa and Oversight, which means that the House may issue contempt citations against Melson and Holder for their intransigence. Fox News reports on the standoff:
How high does this go? Barack Obama insists that he knew nothing of either operation, and Holder has denied prior knowledge of it as well. If that’s true, then why not provide Oversight the documentation they requested? After all, executive privilege wouldn’t apply if Obama knew nothing of the operation. We’ll see if the White House wants to engage in a fight over a contempt citation, and if they do, it will show that they think that path is less damaging than the transparency Obama insists that his administration provides.