Maybe. Just possibly maybe. Check out the video below showing freshman Rep. Sandy Adams of Florida – I had the pleasure of interviewing her last year, by the way – grilling Attorney General Eric Holder over Operation Fast & Furious. For those of you unfamiliar with the Congresswoman, Rep. Adams is a former police officer whose first husband (also a police officer) was killed in the line of duty… so you can imagine what kind of reception Holder got from her when it came to Holder explaining why the US government deliberately gave guns to cop-killers.
The part that I want to highlight starts at about 4:38: a transcript of the relevant comments after the fold, with items of especial note particularly highlighted.
Rep. Sandy Adams (R, FL): …let me ask you another question, because one of my colleagues asked you about your e-mails and you went straight to your work e-mail. Hardly anybody has that. I’m going to ask you a very direct question. You have a personal e-mail account. Did you at any time – at any time – e-mail on your personal account with Lanny Breuer – or Lanny Breuer and Gary Grindler in regards to Fast and Furious ever?
Attorney General Eric Holder: Ever?
Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith (R, TX): The gentlewoman is recognized for an additional minute so the attorney general can respond to her questions.
Holder: I don’t know. I can tell you that I didn’t know…
Adams: Would you check and get back with us? If you need some help, I’m sure that your agency personnel can get into those computers.
Holder: Well, with regard to provision of e-mails, I thought I’ve made it clear that after February the 4th it is not our intention to provide e-mail information consistent with the way in which the Justice Department has always conducted itself. The exception that I made, that I made in the hope that the Justice Department would be seen as transparent was to go against that tradition and to make available deliberative material around the February 4th letter.
Adams: So, again, as in when you were here before and I asked you about a totally different issue, you were saying that you refused to provide that information, is that correct?
Holder: I didn’t hear the – you were talking the same time I was talking. And, please, she can have more time. I don’t – I don’t want to cut off your time. I’m – I just didn’t hear the question.
Adams: Previously, in another committee, when you were here earlier I asked you another question, you said you would not answer that question. Now you’re saying that you won’t provide those e-mails because that’s not consistent with whatever policy was previous. I’m asking you, if there is clean hands here, will you provide those e-mails to this committee…
Holder: As I said…
Adams: … yes or no?
Holder: … I’m going to act in a way that’s consistent with all attorneys general before me.
Adams: That’s not my question, Attorney General.
Adams: I – you know, with due respect, that was not my question. I asked you, with clean hands, would you supply those e-mails, whether it’s work-related or personal e-mails, as they apply to anything that had to do with and to this committee, yes or no?
Holder: And as I said – as I said, with regard to the Justice Department as a whole…
Adams: I yield back.
Holder: And I am…
Adams: Mr. Chair, I’m not going to get the answer…
Holder: … with regard to the Justice Department as a whole – and I’m certainly a member of the Justice Department – we will not provide memos after February the 4th. And that is a way in which we are…
Adams: With regards to e-mails, I didn’t ask memos, I said e- mails.
Holder: E-mails, memos – consistent with the way in which the Department of Justice has always conducted itself in its interactions…
Adams: What about prior to February 4th?
Smith: The gentlewoman’s time has – the answer was no, is that correct, Mr. Attorney General?
Holder: No, but consistent with the way in which the Justice Department has always conducted itself. This is not something that I am making up in terms of new policy.
Smith: I know, but you used the word “not.” I took “not” to be no.
Holder: Oh, I said no.
Holder: I’m saying no. But, again, consistent with DOJ policy.
…Now, I am not a lawyer; but that sounds to me a whole lot like the Attorney General tacitly admitting that there are personal emails originating from him and sent to Lanny Breuer (Assistant AG; admitted knowing of Operation F&F in April 2010) & Gary Grindler (Holder’s Chief of Staff: possibly briefed on Operation F&F in March 2010) that discuss Operation Fast & Furious. Now, I understand that AG Holder is trying to use the old Jesuit tactic of “I am not a priest and if I were I would lie to you about it:” specifically, that he doesn’t remember any emails and if there were he wouldn’t give them to the Judiciary committee anyway. Whether or not that tactic will be permitted to work depends on whether the the Judiciary committee is willing to accept that a Justice Department that went out and got cops killed is really qualified to do its own internal vetting.
Judging by the response from Judiciary so far, they very well may not accept that. Isn’t it nice to have more people in public office who get upset about the same things that get you upset? I think that it’s nice…
Moe Lane (crosspost)