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:
- 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.