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Obama Administration May Be Held in Contempt of Congress
Townhall.com ^ | June 14, 2011 | Katie Pavlich

Posted on 06/14/2011 8:01:33 AM PDT by Kaslin

Presidential administration officials have been held in contempt only 12 times since Watergate in the 1970s, but number 13 may be on its way. Attorney General Eric Holder has refused to supply the House Oversight Committee with requested documents surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, the lethal and botched operation in which thousands of semi-automatic weapons were illegally sent over the border and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The operation resulted in the death of thousands of Mexican citizens and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and involved the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (a division of Holder’s Justice Department.)

Yesterday, during a hearing on Capitol Hill examining whether the DOJ must respond to a lawfully issued and valid Congressional subpoena, multiple witnesses confirmed that the DOJ is not above the law and must, in fact, comply with the subpoena. The witnesses, which included Commissioner on Wartime Contracting Professor Charles Tiefer, American Public Law Specialist at the Library of Congress Morton Rosenberg, and Legislative Attorney Todd Tatelman, confirmed it is a Constitutional duty for Congress to oversee and question executive branch activities.

“The Justice Department is not immune from these investigations,” Rosenberg said.

The hearing sustained that both the House and Senate Congressional Oversight Committees have the absolute right to pursue and obtain information surrounding actions taken by the executive branch, as was the Founding Fathers’ intention in limiting the size and power of the President and his administration. Legally, the executive branch can decline providing the Congressional Oversight Committees with requested documentation only when the President invokes a Privilege Law, which shields the release of certain information. In this case, President Obama has yet to do so, and at this point in time, the House Oversight Committee has full rights to the requested documents.

The Obama Justice Department has been stonewalling the House Oversight Committee for months, citing ongoing investigations within the DOJ surrounding Operation Fast and Furious, in addition to claiming the House Oversight Committee does not have the authority to access the requested information.

“As things stand now, they owe you the documents,” Professor Tiefer said while giving testimony, adding there is no Constitutional basis for the DOJ’s refusal.

The little documentation currently available for the Congressional Oversight Committee is only the information accessible by the general public, hundreds of pages of which have been so redacted that the Committee has been unable to obtain much useful information about the Operation. They have made little progress in getting to the bottom of the scandal, and there is no way the Committee can satisfy its Constitutional duty to oversee the executive branch when the only information presented is heavily redacted material.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate and I think it sends the wrong signal that there may be some things they [DOJ] don’t want you to see,” said Morton when answering a question about the validity of hundreds of redacted documents from the DOJ.

Congressman Darrell Issa’s attempts to look into operations conducted by the Obama Justice Department are nothing new. Congressional Oversight investigations are regular occurrences throughout U.S. history, including Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Tea Pot Dome Scandal, and the Bush Administration FBI informant program.

Issa’s requests are simple. He wants to know what happened, how high up in command the operation went, who ordered the operation, how the government can avoid this type of botched and lethal operation in the future and what the consequences of bad decisions made by officials in the DOJ have led to.

“Nobody wants to have to go to this step,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said when commenting on whether the DOJ will be held in contempt. “But you have a president and an attorney general who claim to be oblivious to what went on.”

A second hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, when the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry will testify.

“I want the people who killed Agent Brian Terry to be tried and convicted.” –Rep. Issa


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; batf; brianterry; chaffetz; corruption; democrats; fastandfurious; gunrunner; gunwalker; holder; holder4criminals; holder4tyrants; holderspeople; holdertruthfile; holdervsamerica; imperialism; imperialpresidency; issa; liberalfascism; liberals; obama; obamatruthfile
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1 posted on 06/14/2011 8:01:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Is this the precursor to impeachment?


2 posted on 06/14/2011 8:04:08 AM PDT by Hoodat (Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. - (Rom 8:37))
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To: Kaslin

About damn time. This petty dictator must be stopped.


3 posted on 06/14/2011 8:04:37 AM PDT by Marathoner (Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, RATS GOTTA TAX!)
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To: Kaslin

Amen to that. Make whomever is responsible for this man’s death pay!!!


4 posted on 06/14/2011 8:04:49 AM PDT by cubreporter (\\)
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To: Kaslin

Each member of the House should take up a specific “cause” and address the illegality of this administration. Non-stop.


5 posted on 06/14/2011 8:05:33 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: Kaslin

Each member of the House should take up a specific “cause” and address the illegality of this administration. Non-stop.


6 posted on 06/14/2011 8:05:54 AM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: Kaslin

This is Obama’s major scandal of his administration. The pressholes are doing a masterful job of keeping it quiet and covering it indirectly.


7 posted on 06/14/2011 8:06:03 AM PDT by headstamp 2 (We live two lives, the life we learn and the life we live with after that.)
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To: Kaslin

I think I’m ahead of the curve on this one. If you know what I mean ...


8 posted on 06/14/2011 8:06:18 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The USSR spent itself into bankruptcy and collapsed -- and aren't we on the same path now?)
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To: Kaslin

And hell may freeze over. If I was a betting man, my money would be on hell freezing over first.


9 posted on 06/14/2011 8:06:35 AM PDT by sport
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To: FatherofFive

Hearings are a good place to start.


10 posted on 06/14/2011 8:07:37 AM PDT by rokkitapps ( Hearings on healthcare waivers NOW! (If you agree make this your tagline))
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To: Kaslin

I think the Obama administration contempt reaches further than that of Congress: I think he’s guilty of contempt of America, the U. S. Constitution, and the American people.


11 posted on 06/14/2011 8:09:15 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: Kaslin

I’m listening to yesterdays hearing right now. Holder is screwed. Once he falls the entire firewall protecting Obama is down and all hell will break loose.

Pray it happens.


12 posted on 06/14/2011 8:12:35 AM PDT by Peter from Rutland (!@)
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To: Kaslin

These guys are dreaming, I don’t believe we’ll ever see any idiot of this administration held responsible for any wrong doing. Proof? Name me a Republican that will begin investigative procedures for crimes and misdemeanors committed by any person in this administration.

I realize we’re talking Supreme Court here but where’s this Court’s track record?

I WANT to be wrong in this, believe me.


13 posted on 06/14/2011 8:13:55 AM PDT by brushcop
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To: Kaslin
Legally, the executive branch can decline providing the Congressional Oversight Committees with requested documentation only when the President invokes a Privilege Law, which shields the release of certain information.

So Barry is jerking our chain, and when he gets bored with this, he'll invoke the privilege.

14 posted on 06/14/2011 8:17:29 AM PDT by smoothsailing
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To: headstamp 2
This is Obama’s major scandal of his administration. The pressholes are doing a masterful job of keeping it quiet and covering it indirectly.


Yes, and it's actually pretty simple to describe for the majority of the populace - no really complex issues involved...:^)

15 posted on 06/14/2011 8:18:24 AM PDT by az_gila
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To: headstamp 2
This is Obama’s major scandal of his administration. The pressholes are doing a masterful job of keeping it quiet and covering it indirectly.

They're too busy analyzing the separation of church and state constitutional violation evident in Sarah Palin's Trig is a gift from God email. After all, she was governor at the time...

16 posted on 06/14/2011 8:18:32 AM PDT by Tex-Con-Man
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To: Kaslin

I already hold them all in contempt.


17 posted on 06/14/2011 8:23:11 AM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: Hoodat
Is this the precursor to impeachment?

From your mouth to God's ears.

18 posted on 06/14/2011 8:24:29 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Kaslin

Wow, it took them long enough. Now, how about you yahoos in Congress doing something to defund the EPA before every coal plant in the nation is taken off line and we all end up in the dark?


19 posted on 06/14/2011 8:28:33 AM PDT by Darnright (There can never be a complete confidence in a power which is excessive. - Tacitus)
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To: Kaslin

So what happens after a charge of contempt is issued?

It would just be another document that the Holder DOJ wipes it’s butt with.


20 posted on 06/14/2011 8:28:44 AM PDT by kidd
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To: Kaslin
This thread has just added to the FreeRepublic "bang list" (firearms interest list) by adding the keyword "banglist".

Any time a firearms-related thread is created on FreeRepublic, please be sure to add the "banglist" keyword to it so that interested FReepers don't miss it. Just a suggestion.

Let Freedom Ring,

Gun Facts v5.1!

Click the pic to go to the Gun Facts v5.1 download page!

21 posted on 06/14/2011 8:31:50 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
I'll believe it when it happens.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

22 posted on 06/14/2011 8:35:54 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Kaslin
I expect the “investigation” will be wrapped up right at the end of Obama’s second term, and he will pardon everyone involved.
23 posted on 06/14/2011 8:39:50 AM PDT by airborne (Paratroopers! Good to the last drop!)
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To: Kaslin

Put the creep in the slammer and throw away the key.


24 posted on 06/14/2011 8:47:27 AM PDT by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: Kaslin
Jailbirds
25 posted on 06/14/2011 8:51:24 AM PDT by FrankR (A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose both.)
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To: Joe Brower

Aye, they are a shifty bunch of law breakers!


26 posted on 06/14/2011 8:53:46 AM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: Joe Brower
I'll believe it when it happens.
You're getting as cynical as me. {;^)
27 posted on 06/14/2011 8:54:01 AM PDT by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: kidd

I seem to recall Janet “slay the children” Reno doing the same thing after being held in contempt.


28 posted on 06/14/2011 9:03:06 AM PDT by winodog
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To: Jet Jaguar; NorwegianViking; ExTexasRedhead; HollyB; FromLori; EricTheRed_VocalMinority; ...

The list, ping

Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list

http://www.nachumlist.com/


29 posted on 06/14/2011 9:06:49 AM PDT by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: Kaslin

Never underestimate the willingness of Republicans to puss-out when required to show some guts. After all, members of the ruling class must stick together. And Republicans do crave that phony “legitimacy” bestowed upon them by the New York Times and the rest of the left wing elite class. Those unwilling to “cross the aisle”—in other words, bend over and betray the American public—risk being declared “unreasonable” and losing their invitations to all the “right” DC cocktail parties.


30 posted on 06/14/2011 9:11:37 AM PDT by Oldpuppymax
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To: Kaslin

I’ll believe it when I see it.


31 posted on 06/14/2011 9:13:36 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: Kaslin

Holder and others will be thrown under the bus but I believe they have enough evidence and whistle blowers Obama can’t fire (SEE WALPINGATE) that Obama can’t come out of this one blaming others as being the media accepted norm. At the very least the emperor will not be able to appoint another AG that will cover for him like Holder is.


32 posted on 06/14/2011 9:15:00 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid! (Allen West 2012 Make it happen!)
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To: kidd

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2708266/posts?page=2#2

Obama and Jarrett would lawyer up and take this to the SCOTUS because they could give a rats ass about this country.

BIG DONOR democrats may insist Obama step down as this is the last thing our country needs.Once this hits the media and it has somewhat (CBS is semi covering it) it will be fast and furious.If Holder and others are not relived of their duties there will be hell to pay. Obama has no, nor will show any remorse unless his donors want him gone.He has damaged the commiecrat party.


33 posted on 06/14/2011 9:29:33 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid! (Allen West 2012 Make it happen!)
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To: Joe Brower; Kaslin

34 posted on 06/14/2011 9:30:41 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT Lightning ping list.)
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To: Hoodat
It should be

FReep mail to follow

35 posted on 06/14/2011 9:37:56 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Hoodat
It should be

FReep mail to follow

36 posted on 06/14/2011 9:38:08 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

They ARE pretty contemptible...


37 posted on 06/14/2011 9:47:21 AM PDT by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: Oldpuppymax
Exactamundo OldPuppy. This is theater for the few people who actually believe any thing can comes of this. It won't because even if PUBES had veto proof majorities in Congress and 95% approval ratings from the nation, they would still suck up to the NYTimes crowd and their fellow ruling elites. Disgusting, absolutely, gut wrenching, disgusting. And you can bet a nickel to a bag of donuts, Lindsay Graham will be there to thwart any serious thought of impeachment.
38 posted on 06/14/2011 9:57:44 AM PDT by cashless (Unlike Obama and his supporters, I'd rather be a TEA BAGGER than a TEA BAGGEE.)
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To: Joe Brower

Even if it does happen, I may need to check the windows to see if a swine herd is floating past outside...


39 posted on 06/14/2011 9:57:58 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (explosive bolts, ten thousand volts at a million miles an hour)
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To: Kaslin

This, plus the Libya thing, and his comments that “sometimes I feel like one term is enough...”

Could Obama be setting the stage for a quick exit if the SHTF? Could it be Biden we’re facing next fall, or, worse, Hillary??


40 posted on 06/14/2011 9:59:00 AM PDT by RockinRight (Rock you like a Hermancain!)
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To: Kaslin

Executive Privilege? How can Obama claim EP when he has said that neither he nor Holder know anything about this?


41 posted on 06/14/2011 10:00:34 AM PDT by savedbygrace (But God.)
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To: Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!

If Obama steps down, then what of the election?

Biden becomes Pres, but does he become the nominee, or does Hillary or someone else vy him for it? I think a scandal would probably hurt ANY Democrat, but beating Biden would be so much more entertaining.


42 posted on 06/14/2011 10:02:06 AM PDT by RockinRight (Rock you like a Hermancain!)
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To: Kaslin

“Legally, the executive branch can decline providing the Congressional Oversight Committees with requested documentation only when the President invokes a Privilege Law, which shields the release of certain information. In this case, President Obama has yet to do so, and at this point in time, the House Oversight Committee has full rights to the requested documents.”

So, what does the Pres. do? Look towards Issa, cover his eyes, and say “You Can’t See Me”. A little more information would have been in order from this author as the topic was broached here.

I’ll do a search to see what I can find on this. I’m curious as to what it could be other than say National Security that Obama could use to deflect Congressional inquisition, and how that in itself must be presented.


43 posted on 06/14/2011 10:03:30 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: savedbygrace

Don’t you know anything? He is the One, he can do anything he wants


44 posted on 06/14/2011 10:03:59 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: headstamp 2
You are very correct. A friend who is very conservative, flies all over the Country on hunting trips and is quite knowledgeable about current events (he's also a very busy commercial pilot for a major airline), knew nothing about gunwalker and was shocked to hear about it. He's now informed and doing his best to inform those around him.
45 posted on 06/14/2011 10:13:27 AM PDT by liberalh8ter
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To: liberalh8ter

If it wasn’t for Free Republic, imagine what we wouldn’t know.


46 posted on 06/14/2011 10:37:28 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Marathoner

The liberal elites in this administration believe themselves above the petty laws that regulate the rest of us. Their actions show it.


47 posted on 06/14/2011 10:45:48 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: RockinRight

When I said step down... I meant it in the sick politico terms of them having a challenger against him.Then the debates will be as stupid as the current GOP ones. Do you prefer coke or pepsi? Will you as President tear this country down?

If the dems join in voting him and Holder in contempt he may pull a Nixon and resign but it will be a weiner Nixon IF IT WERE TO HAPPEN.


48 posted on 06/14/2011 10:54:22 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid! (Allen West 2012 Make it happen!)
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To: Hoodat
Is this the precursor to impeachment?

About as likely as my wife suggesting I get a 30 YO live in girlfriend.

49 posted on 06/14/2011 10:54:30 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s ( If you can remember the 60s....you weren't really there)
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To: PapaNew
I think he’s guilty of contempt of America, the U. S. Constitution, and the American people."

Exactly what I was thinking. So why can these things not be criminal contempt?

Contempt Power: The power of a public institution (as Congress or a cout) to punish someone who shows contempt for the process, orders, or proceedings of that institution.(color me guilty)

Contempt:a) The act or state of despising;

b) Conduct that defies the authority or dignity of a court or legislature -- because such conduct interferes with the administration of justice, it is punishable by fine or imprisonment;

c) Disregard of, or disobedience to, the rules or orders of a legislative or judicial body ... as to disturb the proceedings or tho impair the respect due to such a body;

d)An act that obstructs justice or attacks the integrity of the court;

e)Deliberate interference with the duties or powers of Congress.

Why should such "contempt" apply only to courts and Congress? Why should they not apply to the Constitution that created them?

Under definition (e), why could not most Congresscritters be found guilty of "contempt of Congress" by their deliberate interference with the LEGITIMATE duties and powers of Congress -- AS DEFINED IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION?

50 posted on 06/14/2011 10:59:35 AM PDT by PENANCE
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