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Before Fully Assessing Contempt Citation, U.S. Attorney for D.C. Refuses to Hold Holder Accountable
Townhall.com ^ | June 29, 2012 | Katie Pavlich

Posted on 06/29/2012 3:49:27 PM PDT by Kaslin

In a non-surprising move, the Department of Justice has just officially announced they will not proceed with prosecuting Attorney General Eric Holder after the House of Representatives voted to hold him in criminal and civil contempt of Congress yesterday.

The Justice Department moved Friday to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from prosecution after the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.

The contempt vote technically opened the door for the House to call on the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to bring the case before a grand jury. But because U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen works for Holder and because President Obama has already asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, some expected Holder's Justice Department to balk.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole confirmed in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner that the department in fact would not pursue prosecution. The attorney general's withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, "does not constitute a crime."

"Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the attorney general," Cole wrote.

It was the duty of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen to fully assess the contempt charges before making a decision about prosecution.

Senator Grassley, who has been a top leader of the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, expressed his doubts about whether Machen reviewed the charges before making a decision in a letter this afternoon. Why? The Department actually made the decision not to prosecute Holder yesterday before final contempt votes were tallied.

“The Deputy Attorney General’s letter has put the cart before the horse,” Grassley wrote today.  Grassley also said that without a particularized description of the documents being withheld or a description of the documents over which executive privilege has been asserted, the U.S. Attorney cannot reasonably make an intelligent judgment as to the validity of any privilege claim and his duty to present the citation to a grand jury.

“Your independence and integrity were cited as the reason that there was supposedly no necessity to appoint a special prosecutor.  This matter [the congressional contempt citation] gives you an opportunity to live up to that high praise and prove your independence.”

"The way this has been handled so far suggests no such independence at all. Before you have even received the citation, before you have even had a chance to understand the scope of the documents and the privilege claim at issue, the Deputy Attorney General has already announced the decision of “the Department” not to proceed as required by the contempt statute. Therefore, so that Congress can have a better understanding of the procedural standing of this matter, please provide answers to the following questions:
1)    Have you had any communications with the Deputy Attorney General, the Attorney General, or other senior Department political appointees about the contempt citation or about Operation Fast and Furious? If so, provide a detailed description of those communications and when they occurred.

2)    Have you been instructed not to present the contempt citation to a grand jury? If so, when, by whom, and on what grounds?

3)    Have you independently decided not to present the contempt citation to a grand jury? If so, when and on what basis?

4)    Have you conducted an independent review of the documents being withheld from Congress by the Attorney General in order to assess the validity of any privilege claims? If so, when did that review occur? If not, please explain why not.

5)    Have you been provided with copies of the documents the Attorney General is withholding from Congress or a specific list of the documents being withheld? If so, have you conducted an independent analysis of the executive privilege claim? If not, how can you conduct an independent assessment of the validity of any executive privilege claim or make any independent judgment about your duty under the contempt statute to present the contempt citation to a grand jury?

Grassley has asked for a response, we'll see if he gets one. So now, it's up to the Oversight Committee to file a civil lawsuit in order to get the documents they need from Holder about the lethal Fast and Furious operation.

On another note, Machen is the same guy Holder has appointed to investigate national security leaks, donated to President Obama's campaign and was appointed to his current position by Obama.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: 2deadfeds; 300deadmexicans; atf; banglist; contempt; contemptofcongress; dea; dhs; doj; doj4coverup; doj4felony; doj4impropriety; doj4killers; doj4murderers; doj4obstruction; doj4perjury; dojvsalllaw; dojvsamerica; dojvsconstitution; dojvsthelaw; ericholder; fastandfurious; fbi; gunrunner; gunwalker; holder; ice; murdergate; obama; obamaappointee; ronaldmachen
Why they went to Machen who is an 0bama appointee is beyond me
1 posted on 06/29/2012 3:49:36 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

LMAO!

Looks like everyone has contempt for the stupid, useless, pointless John Boner congress...

They would have been better off voting themselves in contempt.


2 posted on 06/29/2012 3:53:00 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: Kaslin

Anybody expect anything different
Without the MSM on it night after night like Wategate and Scooter Libby—Nothing will happen And despite naive Krauthamer saying the MSM will be forced to cover it it won’t happen

Hell Bush didn’t do anything about Sandy Bergers stealing and destroying a secret document from the Archives

Without the MSM there are NO issues
They create them


3 posted on 06/29/2012 3:54:42 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Kaslin
Grassley has asked for a response, we'll see if he gets one.

He'll get some verbiage, but it will amount to a single finger response.

4 posted on 06/29/2012 3:55:59 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Kaslin

My, my, my! I wonder why?


5 posted on 06/29/2012 3:56:30 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Kaslin
Laws? We don't need no stinkin laws.
6 posted on 06/29/2012 3:57:23 PM PDT by Truth29
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To: Kaslin

It is the duty of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen to prosecute contempt of Congress cases per an article I read here at FR predicting this exact scenario a week, or so ago. No I don’t have a link.

In the article they stated this would be what would happen with this administration’s record, and the U.S. Attorney of DC being appointed by Holder.


7 posted on 06/29/2012 3:59:08 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Kaslin

We are OFFICIALLY BANANA REPUBLIC....with NO bananas!


8 posted on 06/29/2012 3:59:19 PM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: chris37
Yeah and your third party would achieve everything you want them to.

Why can't they get elected, then?

9 posted on 06/29/2012 4:01:55 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

The entire DOJ has fewer morals than Whitey Bulger,
who this week said the DOJ gave him a license to murder.

Did he get weapons, too?

Who didn’t?


10 posted on 06/29/2012 4:07:34 PM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Joe Brower; Travis McGee; LucyT; vette6387; MetaThought; 60Gunner; XHogPilot; FreedomPoster; ...

Oh, by the way...

“...Machen is the same guy Holder has appointed to investigate national security leaks, donated to President Obama’s campaign and was appointed to his current position by Obama.”


11 posted on 06/29/2012 4:07:56 PM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: Ann Archy

“We are OFFICIALLY BANANA REPUBLIC....with NO bananas!”

True, but we do have banana magazines.


12 posted on 06/29/2012 4:11:02 PM PDT by sergeantdave (Public unions exist to protect the unions from the taxpaying public)
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To: Kaslin

Did anyone expect anything different? This Admin NEVER can find anything wrong when they investigate themselves anyway.............


13 posted on 06/29/2012 4:13:39 PM PDT by originalbuckeye
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To: Kaslin

14 posted on 06/29/2012 4:17:57 PM PDT by Errant
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To: Kaslin

The attorney general and the potus MURDERED people and got away with it because they are colored.


15 posted on 06/29/2012 4:19:07 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: Errant

An 0bama Appointee
16 posted on 06/29/2012 4:21:22 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
Looks like a criminal conspiracy to me.
17 posted on 06/29/2012 4:22:12 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: originalbuckeye

Exactly


18 posted on 06/29/2012 4:23:40 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

I don’t have a third party, don’t want one, and way to assume LOL!.

I’m a slave, just like you and everyone else.

Have a nice day.


19 posted on 06/29/2012 4:26:21 PM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: Kaslin

IIRC, once someone is held in contempt of Congress, the Speaker can direct the House sergeant-at-arms to take the accused into custody, bring him to the House floor to answer the charges, and throw him in jail if he refuses to cooperate. Yes/No?


20 posted on 06/29/2012 4:27:02 PM PDT by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Kaslin

Fine, then hold Machen in contempt of Congress too. It’s not even a question, it’s a given.


21 posted on 06/29/2012 4:31:32 PM PDT by Doug Loss
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To: Kaslin

22 posted on 06/29/2012 4:43:34 PM PDT by Errant
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To: Truth29

Laws are for the “little people.”


23 posted on 06/29/2012 4:46:48 PM PDT by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: Kaslin

As I posted the MSM control this country’s issues

Wonder if Naive Krauthamner has second thoughts about what would happen

Hell people on this site have more sense than those DC beltway GOP boobs


24 posted on 06/29/2012 4:49:47 PM PDT by uncbob
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To: Kaslin

This is not even good political theatre. If they were serious about doing anything about F and F, they would be pursuing impeachment.

Its not about getting rid of Holder. Its about convincing the conservative rubes back home that they’re doing “something” to hold him accountable. It would be laughable if good people hadn’t died as a result.


25 posted on 06/29/2012 4:57:21 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Thank you Chief Justice Arnold!)
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To: RKBA Democrat
It would be laughable if good people hadn’t died as a result.

As it is it's solidified my contempt for the Republican Party. In my political lifetime they've never even attempted to pursue their party-planks. They get a whole lot of undeserved credit for the Assault Weapons Ban, which had a sunset clause... IOW, people congratulate them for doing nothing as if it were something. For most of G. W. Bush's term we had the Executive and the legislative, and tell me: how many times was overturning Roe v. Wade put out, even as a token gesture? Oh, right it wasn't, because it would be 'political' and "drive people from the party" (despite the general abortion-approval numbers getting pretty bad) When was the last time they seriously pushed for some responsibility with finances? Oh, right, Rand Paul... and then the party kinda told him "go sit in the corner while we play ball with the big boys."

And then they nominate Romney. Romney! Mr The-only-way-to-elect-me-is-if-everybody-hates-Obama-and-even-then-its-iffy is who they anoint?

26 posted on 06/29/2012 7:20:15 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

My contempt was solidified the better part of 30 years ago.

Infanticide is a great point because it really shows how much the GOP holds its base in utter contempt. The GOP held both houses of congress, the presidency and made most of the appointments to the scotus and did absolutely nothing with that when it came to infanticide. I guess they were waiting for a 2/3 majority in the legislatures?

In any case, its a moot point. This political game of 3 card monte is rigged. Unless we change the ground rules or walk away from it, we lose.


27 posted on 06/29/2012 7:34:43 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Thank you Chief Justice Arnold!)
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To: OneWingedShark

My contempt was solidified the better part of 30 years ago.

Infanticide is a great point because it really shows how much the GOP holds its base in utter contempt. The GOP held both houses of congress, the presidency and made most of the appointments to the scotus and did absolutely nothing with that when it came to infanticide. I guess they were waiting for a 2/3 majority in the legislatures?

In any case, its a moot point. This political game of 3 card monte is rigged. Unless we change the ground rules or walk away from it, we lose.


28 posted on 06/29/2012 7:35:02 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Thank you Chief Justice Arnold!)
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To: Kaslin

Makes me wonder how long the little PR group known as congress will be around.


29 posted on 06/29/2012 7:40:57 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: RKBA Democrat
Infanticide is a great point because it really shows how much the GOP holds its base in utter contempt. The GOP held both houses of congress, the presidency and made most of the appointments to the scotus and did absolutely nothing with that when it came to infanticide. I guess they were waiting for a 2/3 majority in the legislatures?

That's what it seemed like when I brought up the question. I've never known a time when this country didn't have its legal infanticide (still ineligible to be president) -- I cannot fathom how theRoe v. Wade decision could have been allowed to stand... it should have had the court laughed out of court, so to speak. Besides which, it clearly violated the due processes of the states required by the 14th Amendment (though the 14th Amd is a lie, it never passed and is on congressional record as not having passed) AND the 5th Amendment.

30 posted on 06/29/2012 8:08:49 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Kaslin

It really needs to be grasped firmly that as Obama goes diligently about his socialist revolution, neither he nor any of his minions give a rat’s *ss about what any or all Americans think.

To misjudge that point is to misapprehend the Obama regime.

Obama is nothing less than the Lenin or Castro of the United States.

Anyone who fails to recognize that simple fact is not seeing things clearly.


31 posted on 06/29/2012 8:56:21 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Jack Hammer

All nobama minions should be in jail serving lots of time. The “reach across the aisle” and “compromise” ideas don’t work with these anti-Free-America viruses.


32 posted on 06/29/2012 9:03:04 PM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Kaslin; ntnychik; dixiechick; All
KEEP ON RUNNING
ERIC!

33 posted on 06/29/2012 9:04:12 PM PDT by potlatch (~~And the truth IS what counts, RIGHT ? ~~)
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To: Kaslin
It was the duty of U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen to fully assess the contempt charges before making a decision about prosecution.

Since Congress stopped using its inherent contempt power about 80 years ago and started referring its cases to the executive and judicial branches how many cases has it referred to the US Attorney for DC? How many of those cases did the US Attorney for DC decline to prosecute? These numbers would be interesting as a way to frame this debate, especially if the second were as small as the number of Attorneys General ever voted in Contempt of Congress. Which was zero until this week.

Perhaps now that Justice has thumbed its nose at the House, the House will find the stones to use its only real weapon here. Put Holder in "Nancy Pelosi's jail," where she'd said she could have put Rove. True, they could Impeach him. If they try that I want to see video of Harry Reid when he learns of the tactic! I've never seen him laugh. Reid's Senate wouldn't even give Holder even the farcical 'trial' Clinton received and everyone knows it. Impeachment is worthless here. But the House's inherent Contempt power can't be blocked the other house, nor by the other two branches, only by RINOs with jelly cajones.

The Rat word of the day against using inherent Contempt is "unseemly." They stopped using the power because some courts called it unseemly. Even though, reportedly, it has been upheld by no less than four Supreme Court decisions. Yet isn't it unseemly for one appointed official of the executive branch to disrespect the majority of the people's elected representatives, in effect the majority of the country and not even grant them a day in court? For that matter, isn't it unseemly to be the only Attorney General in the history of the country to be charged with Contempt of Congress? And over grounds even the Washington Post found flimsy. Not only wasn't Nixon's AG charged with Congressional Contempt, he resigned rather than aid Nixon's coverup. As did his understudy! Nixon had to drop to Justice's #3 man to further the Watergate coverup and even that man was never charged with Contempt of Congress. Shouldn't liberals find it unseemly that "their" AG behaves worse than Bork?

The real problem with the House's inherent Contempt power is that it is limited in time; I'm not sure whether they can hold people for just the rest of the term or just until they are out of session. Certainly in an election year they won't be staying in session for long stretches. Referrals to Justice followed by Article III trials offered up to one year sentences. But if the alternatives have been tried and stonewalled even a one week sentence. Sure the Democrats would be Furious, but for them to fume to their base the media would have to let the public know there was a conflict here. Most don't know. And the long suffering GOP base would be ecstatic to see their elected GOP actually fighting. It might not be the GOP's Midway, but it could be their Guadalcanal. If need be let him out to think it over when sessions end and throw him back in when they resume. If Holder turns over the goods, or lets a truly independent prosecutor be named he can exit Nancy's jail.

I've read the Capital no longer contains a real 'jail.' It certainly operates a large, quality, police force. With all the added security since 9-11, including the large, over budget, Capital Visitor's Center, their must be some kind of temporary holding facility for unruly, or worse, visitors there. Something could be worked out if needed. Given that the Article III courts lack jurisdiction here their expensive jail standards need not apply. If Holder doesn't like his accommodations he'd, personally, have the power to change his own venue and cell.

Issa's actions today, releasing previously secret evidence, suggest he's not given up. He may be waiting for the parallel civil court Contempt path to be publicly proven equally blocked, or at least indefinitely stalled, before pulling the inherent Contempt trigger.

34 posted on 06/29/2012 9:34:53 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: Kaslin

Obama and Holder were successful.

Now, no one will dare to use a subpoena or issue contempt of court citations to them for ANYTHING.

So... now the turnover of Arizona to the Cartel can be done without any worries.


35 posted on 06/29/2012 9:47:22 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Clock King

The only law that matters now is what the polit bureau says and how the comintern rules.

IMHO


36 posted on 06/30/2012 6:40:47 AM PDT by ripley
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To: OneWingedShark

I was very young when RvW came about so I can’t answer as to what the politics were at the time but I do think they were more liberal overall. Keep in mind that it wasn’t until the 1980s and the end of the so called fairness doctrine that there were really any opposition voices out there. And it wasn’t until later that algore in his benevolence gave us the internet.

Be that as it may there was really no excuse for the GOP failure to take the issue on during one of the times when it had control of congress and the presidency. Unfortunately the GOP is usually completely invested in the staus quo and profits from it. Expecting it to be an agent of change is unrealistic.


37 posted on 06/30/2012 7:24:53 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Thank you Chief Justice Arnold!)
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To: RKBA Democrat
Unless we change the ground rules or walk away from it, we lose.

That's kind of what I'm thinking. We need a plan though and Romney or the GOP ain't it. Never again will I vote for anyone who abets infanticide or perversion. Settling for the lessor of two evils is what has gotten us here. It's time to pay the fiddler.

38 posted on 06/30/2012 8:50:35 AM PDT by Errant
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To: Ann Archy
You have no bananas? You'll need to either purchase some or pay a tax.
39 posted on 06/30/2012 8:54:58 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: potlatch

Good graphic. If Holder can’t be prosecuted, at least he can be ridiculed.


40 posted on 06/30/2012 7:50:14 PM PDT by ntnychik
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To: ntnychik

Drudge had this;

The Justice Dept said they will not prosecute but Republicans are likely to take their case to civil court as they seek documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious — which was already the unofficial plan. Along with the criminal contempt resolution, Republicans also passed a civil contempt measure Thursday allowing them to go to civil court to try and get an order that would compel the Obama administration to release the documents.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/29/after-holder-contempt-vote-republicans-eye-civil-court-case-to-extract-furious/#ixzz1zKuLLNLj


41 posted on 06/30/2012 8:06:22 PM PDT by potlatch (~~And the truth IS what counts, RIGHT ? ~~)
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