Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) is getting angry. The chairman of the House Oversight committee is circulating a “contempt of Congress” citation among Washington’s lawmakers accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of withholding information shedding light on the person or persons within the Obama administration responsible for ordering the deadly Fast and Furious operation. The aforementioned action funneled weapons to Mexican drug cartels that killed or wounded hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens and led to the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Chairman Issa issued a subpoena last October requiring Obama’s Justice Department to hand over relevant Fast and Furious documents covered under 22 categories of information. According to Issa, Justice has remanded documents pertaining to a mere 12 of those categories.
Issa understandably considers Holder’s noncompliance stonewalling. Holder insists that handing over the identities of those responsible for the death and misery on both sides of the Mexican border would interfere with his “ongoing investigation.”
One Justice Department person of interest is Deputy Attorney General David Ogden who, in testimony before Congress back in 2009, said $10 million in Obama stimulus money had been earmarked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to increase ‘its efforts by adding 47 more employees and three new offices … and redeploying 100 personnel to the Southwest Border … to fortify its Project Gunrunner, which is aimed at disrupting arms trafficking between the United States and Mexico.”
None of the thousands of Justice Department documents handed to the House Oversight committee pertain to David Ogden or what he described as “several new and aggressive steps” that were part of the Obama administration’s new “comprehensive plan” to combat Mexico’s drug gangs.
“Is there an appetite in the House with the GOP leadership to issue a contempt citation?” asked Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News program “On the Record.”
“There is going to come a point where there’s nothing left but to say, ‘We find, broadly, this Attorney General to be in contempt,” answered Issa.
“But this has been going on for over a year and a half,” insisted Van Susteren, “You have a border agent who has been murdered, and you have a family that’s grieving and wants that information. And it seems like a simple thing … and it’s sort of caught up in this sort of Washington – whatever. I know you want to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T’ but time is running out to get answers for this family.”
Van Susteren got to the heart of the matter.
“We hear rumors … we hear that Speaker [John] Boehner isn’t wild about this [issuing a contempt citation]. That he doesn’t what to do this … will a decision be made before the November election?”
Issa sidestepped the Boehner question, assuring Van Susteren that the citation would be issued before the election.
“We’ve sent out, to every member of Congress, sixty-four pages laying out the case for contempt. We’ve asked them: Do they have any questions; can we show them the proof? A lot of them, especially our Democratic members … they have a lot of misinformation on what is owed [in subpoenaed documents] and what hasn’t been delivered,” said Issa.
In a letter to his House colleagues, Issa recounts Holder’s initial denial of “whistleblower allegations that the Justice Department had facilitated the illegal transfer of weapons to Mexican drug cartels” and that the Justice Department made “every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”
“Nearly ten months later,” Issa continued, “the Justice Department sent Congress a new letter rescinding the previous written denial and acknowledging that Operation Fast and Furious was ‘fundamentally flawed.’”
It is understandable why Eric Holder would wish to impede Issa’s investigation into the Obama administrations facilitation of cross-border mass murder. It is, after all, an election year, and Holder’s boss would like four more years in office to … God only knows.
What is more perplexing is the hesitation on the part of the GOP’s intellectual colossus, John “Bonehead” Boehner, to unequivocally support Issa’s quest to bring justice to Justice … giving voice to those whose lives were snuffed out so callously.
And, to Ohio’s 8th Congressional District: it is to your eternal shame that this disgraceful GOP embarrassment has not suffered the same electoral fate as his Senate colleague – and fellow Republican gelding – Richard Lugar.
That itself is deserving of a contempt citation.