Skip to comments.Rep. Issa ‘disappointed,’ says contempt vote against Holder will move forward
Posted on 06/20/2012 2:58:24 AM PDT by Libloather
Rep. Issa disappointed, says contempt vote against Holder will move forward
By Jordy Yager - 06/19/12 05:55 PM ET
A House panel is expected to vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress after a last-ditch effort to reach a deal over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious appeared to fail.
After a Tuesday evening meeting with Holder and other lawmakers in the Capitol, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said he was disappointed that the attorney general had not come with the documents demanded by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa, Holders chief interlocutor in a saga that has lasted more than a year, said unless Holder provides the paperwork, the contempt vote would proceed Wednesday morning.
Issa also called on President Obama to press Holder to be more cooperative.
Holder emerged from the meeting considerably later, and accused Issa of being consumed with political gamesmanship.
Holder said he offered to make documents Issa has requested available to the chairman on the condition that the powerful Republican drop the two outstanding subpoenas he has issued to the department. The documents Issa wants are related to the panels 16-month investigation of the failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation.
Holder said Issa rejected that offer and demanded that Holder fork over the documents to his committee, while offering no assurances that he would drop the contempt vote scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday or consider the subpoenas satisfied.
I think the balls in their court, said Holder. They rejected what I thought was an extraordinary offer on our part.
What we asked from the chairman was an indication that if we provided these materials, that would be considered to resolve the subpoenas that were standing, Holder said. Hes not indicated the desire to do that at this point. I hope he will change his mind.
Asked whether he had spoken to any of the House Republican leaders about ways to resolve the matter, the attorney general declined to comment.
I dont want to answer that question, he said.
Issa said he hoped Holder would deliver the documents later Tuesday night, but that until he received them he would plan to move forward with the contempt vote.
If we receive no documents, well go forward, said Issa. If we receive documents, well evaluate them and well take such time as is necessary in delay to be sure of the quality of these documents and whether theyre sufficient.
We never expected to get all of the documents. But our hope was, and still is, that later this evening well receive such documents thatll allow us to say that at least for the time being were evaluating future documents.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on Issas committee, and Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), the top Democrat and Republican, respectively, on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also attended the meeting
Cummings said he believed Issas mind was made up about the contempt vote before the meeting.
It appears that the chairman made up his mind even before we stepped into the room, he said following the meeting, which lasted roughly 30 minutes.
Grassley, however, praised Issa for moving forward with the contempt vote and called Holders offer unacceptable.
The attorney general wants to trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today, said Grassley in a statement after the meeting. Thats unacceptable. Im not going to buy a pig in a poke.
Issa wants documents that he says would show how much Justice knows about Fast and Furious. Holder has insisted he did not know of the gun-tracking operation, and he has noted that a similar operation was executed under the Bush administration.
Issa has focused his request on DOJ documents from after Feb. 4, 2011, when the department sent a letter to Grassley denying that it lets guns walk across the border into Mexico. Issa wants as much internal correspondence as possible that could give him a clear picture of how much the department knew about those tactics and what made the DOJ withdraw that letter in December.
Fast and Furious was an attempt by the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to track the flow of weapons from the United States into Mexico in hopes of dismantling drug cartels network.
Nearly 2,000 guns were sold in the United States to straw buyers for the cartels, but instead of tracking the weapons, ATF agents were ordered to let them go with the hope of rediscovering them later at a crime scene or drug bust.
The Department of Justice's inspector general, at the request of Holder, has been investigating Fast and Furious for more than a year and is searching for who is responsible for the controversial tactics. Issa has been conducting his own investigation.
Axelrod, Obama, Holder are thinking -—”How do we spin this as racist? And which of our media stooges will help us do it?”
Holders intent was to support the propaganda meme that guns used in Mexico were being purchased in the USA.
This fact was disproved by independent work of the National rifle Association, and it was established cl;early for all to see that “Fast and Furious” were a means to impose increased federal gun control on Red States like Arizona.In Obamas opinion, too many Americans cling bitterly to their bibles and guns.Obama has acted to remove the bible from civil society, and has acted to diminish 2nd amendment rights by refusing to enforce US laws and creating false
information based on his own policy conduct, designed to axchieve an idological end.
This is treasonous conduct. Both Holder and Obama need to go.
Chrissy Tingle-leg already played the race card last night on Hardhead.
“Issa also called on President Obama to press Holder to be more cooperative.”
That’s some nice finger-pointing, Issa. Don’t stop there!
I think “they” are hoping and praying for a prosecution event before the election. It seems that they’re goading Issa, et al., into going forward with it. It’ll distract from the economy/jobs. It’ll distract from Obama’s legitimacy. And it’ll make the GOP look like petty idiots as in the Clinton impeachment. Even though gun walking and the death of an American is stunningly more important than perjury and a blue dress with love ick on it, the MSM knows how to spin a story. Contempt hearings will be a dream come true for them.
Holder is trying to hide something really big, maybe a trail to the White House.
It’s a “physician, heal thyself” moment (Holder, prosecute yourself). High tragecomedy.
Does a contempt of Congress vote have any consequences or is it more a vote of no confidence?
“Holder is trying to hide something pretty big”
I’m pretty sure he has had plenty of time to destroy any incriminating evidence against the One and himself AND Hillary, who I suspect was behind this all the time. I remember her tirades back then about American guns being bought by drug cartels. All crocked as a barrel of fishhooks. It’s going to embariss Issa and Boner when there is NO incriminating evidence to be found. I hope I am wrong and they all go to prison for high crimes and misdemeanors!
Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).
Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its “inherent contempt” authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster.
“This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. (July 2008)”
Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; according to the law it is the “duty” of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action.
The criminal offense of “contempt of Congress” sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.
While the law pronounces the duty of the U.S. Attorney is to impanel a grand jury for its action on the matter, some proponents of the unitary executive theory believe that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President and that compelling the Attorney amounts to compelling the President himself. They believe that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch. The legal basis for this belief, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote “The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers. This approach to government is commonly known as “departmentalism or coordinate construction
Senate Rules authorize the Senate to direct the Senate Legal Counsel to file a civil action against any private individual found in contempt.
Upon motion by the Senate, the federal district court issues another order for a person to comply with Senate process. If the subject then refuses to comply with the Court's order, the person may be cited for contempt of court and may incur sanctions imposed by the Court. The process has been used at least six times; but the civil procedure can only be used against Executive branch officials “in certain limited circumstances.”
Do we really think Holder will send Holder before the Grand Jury?
Contempt hearings will be a dream come true for them...
I’d take that challenge in a second and turn it into a nightmare.
This is big time criminal activity by folks that really do believe that it is not, because somehow they are empowered to ignore established criminal law...
We could tack them to the wall - nothing about F&F is even remotely legal & the stonewalling screams cover up.
Yes, who will be the one chosen to say, "If Holder were white, would Issa and the Republicans be attacking him?"
I read that the man who will ultimately handle the prosecution of Holder (if the House moves it forward) actually WORKS for Holder.
Not to mention that the penalty is something like a $1000 fine...
Personally this just looks like politics to me. The Republican House should be doing other things.