Issa to Holder – We Want Documents Now & Contempt Charges Are Still On the Table

Darrell Issa
Darrell Issa (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Washington DC – -( On February 14th I received an email from House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) office, containing a copy of a letter the Congressman just sent to Attorney General Eric Holder.

In it, Issa points out Holder’s “lack of good faith,” in not complying with document requests heretofore, and to the fact that the DOJ as a whole appears “more concerned with protecting its image through spin control than actually cooperating with Congress.”

Wrote Issa:

The Justice Department’s request for additional time has, unfortunately, not been followed by efforts to bridge the significant differences between its legal obligation to Congress and the reality of its stonewalling.

The [House Oversight and Government Reform Committee] is determined to know what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and how the Justice Department responded when it was publicly confronted with evidence of reckless conduct after Agent Terry’s death. If the Justice Department cannot commit to providing, at a minimum, a detailed description of documents it is withholding, and the legal basis for doing so, then the committee has no other option than to move forward with the contempt process against Attorney General Holder.

In addition, the letter sets forth central questions that have to be answers, among which are:

  1. Exactly how and when did senior Department officials learn the truth of what happened?
  2. Did Department officials retaliate against whistleblowers?
  3. Why did Department officials decide to move forward with prosecuting old cases involving highly objectionable tactics when line prosecutors had refused to do so?
  4. Why did senior Department officials fail to see the clear connection between Fast and Furious and prior flawed operations they have admitted they knew about?
  5. When did the Department first learn about Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer’s February 2011 suggestion of gunwalking, and why did the Department wait so long before telling Congress about it?
  6. A year later, will the responsible senior Department officials be held accountable?

The letter also contains a specific line of questions about Patrick Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, who pled the 5th when subpoenaed by Issa. Apparently, Cunningham did his own “comprehensive review” of Fast and Furious in April 2011, and Issa wants to know what he found out.

Wrote Issa: “What information did Cunningham uncover To whom did he report this information? What was done with this information?”

Issa ended his letter thus:

[And] this is not an “election year political ‘gotcha’ game,” but rather a bipartisan sentiment. As Ranking Member [Elijah] Cummings (D-MD) promised the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, “we will not rest until every single person responsible for all of this, no matter where they are, are brought to justice.” I applaud his revolve, and I want to make it clear that Congress will not give up until this accountability has been achieved.

About AWR Hawkins

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at [email protected]

AWR Hawkins

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More tough talk. I want to see indictments. Nothing else really matters.