Grassley Holds Key To Bypass Balking On Holder Contempt Charges

U.S. Senator Grassley
U.S. Senator Grassley

USA –-( Conflicting reports on the likelihood of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform moving forward with contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder have emerged with a story in Politico on Monday reporting “GOP closer to holding Eric Holder in contempt,” and a contradictory account appearing in The Hill yesterday claiming “Rep. Issa might not have the votes to push forward Holder contempt charge.”

Gun Rights Examiner discussed these developments yesterday with blogger Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars while he was in the emergency room undergoing treatment for post-surgery complications. Vanderboegh, longtime readers will recognize, is the citizen journalist who first reported on “walked” guns being found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry after monitoring chatter on the CleanUpATF website (created by agents concerned with agency corruption and abuse). His sources have provided him with a continual stream of reliable information to the point where, even while undergoing complications from a life-threatening condition and operation, he has still managed to outperform most of the “professional” press corps combined in ferreting out information and providing informed analysis of the Fast and Furious debacle and its implications.

His reaction to this correspondent’s phone call was immediate and decisive.

“I’m going to make some calls,” he said, and later that day he posted what he’d learned.

“One source I trust implicitly says that the story is correct,” he advised, sharing “They (the GOP leadership) don’t think that they will suffer for failure to follow through. They’re scared of Holder’s race card. . . they’re scared of Trayvon. They think if they let Issa fail, that it will only be a story in the blogosphere for a day . . . that they can weather it.”

Another told him the exact opposite, claiming “the entire story is disinformation planted by the White House ‘to get the GOP fighting each other and blame Boehner for it.’”

Whether there is White House involvement or not is something that will be very difficult to prove, not the least reason because they are effectively exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests, and also because, as has been seen throughout the reporting effort on Fast and Furious, the mainstream press has essentially been deliberately indifferent when not attempting to twist the story to support a pro-administration agenda.

Regardless of if the story in The Hill turns out to be a red herring (and their reporter Jordy Yeager is not exactly viewed with esteem by Vanderboegh), there’s a big drawback in pursuing the present course: Even if Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa manages to motivate his colleagues into backing a contempt citation, it would be fair to ask what the next move would be if the administration and their media supporters returned withering fire dismissing it as an “election year partisan witch hunt,” something they’ve been proclaiming, and loudly, for some time.  It would also be fair to ask what those in Congress investigating the gunwalking scandal will do if the long-awaited Inspector General report comes back with no damning conclusions, that is, if the professionally compromised people reporting and reportedly loyal to Holder elect to cover his tracks, and the political will to challenge their findings cannot be mustered.

There is one other option, perhaps the best one, and it’s a course recommended consistently in this column: Reenact the law that expired in 1999 to allow for a truly independent counsel.

Sponsoring a bill authorizing this is something that Sen. Chuck Grassley, hamstrung by ranking minority status on the Senate Judiciary Committee, could introduce on his own, bypassing House Speaker John Boehner’s perceived lack of unequivocal resolve. Informed sources tell Gun Rights Examiner such a measure would stand a good chance of garnering support from enough Democrats to pass, giving it a bipartisan credibility that would be much harder to dismiss as political gamesmanship.

If the ostensible Republican “leadership” truly is afraid to make a committed move, it’s past time those who aren’t used every means at their disposal to keep justice delayed from turning into justice denied.

About David Codrea

David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at

David Codrea