“Remember, it was deny, delay, and accuse.” Chairman Darrell Issa has hit the nail on the head countless times while investigating Operation Fast & Furious. The House voted on both criminal and civil contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder due to his refusal to produce documents pertaining to correspondence between high-level officials regarding how to respond to the Fast & Furious investigation. The criminal charges are now being investigated by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia– who also works for Holder– however, most people aren’t aware that the same Attorney is also investigating the recent national security leaks by journalists around the country who are compromising our national security in exchange for getting a good “scoop.”
The House of Representatives has already voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in both criminal and civil contempt. The civil charges are going forward– as much as President Obama has tried to protect AG Holder, he cannot do anything to prevent the pursuit of the civil charges. For months, the Attorney General has been withholding documents pertaining to Operation Fast & Furious; the House can now take the civil charges to a civil court in an attempt to gain access to the documents they are seeking and in the process reach justice for Brian Terry and his family.
The criminal charges, however, are a different story. The Justice Department has unsurprisingly stated that they will not prosecute Eric Holder. The criminal charges have now been passed on to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ron Machen, who will ultimately decide whether the criminal charges move forward. The Attorney answers to AG Holder and is not expected to approve of the criminal charges, making the civil contempt charges the ones that will go to court to determine whether the Justice Department will be forced to produce documents over which President Obama has exerted Executive Privilege. A decision on these criminal charges is not expected until after the November elections.
Although the criminal charges are unlikely to move forward, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has made clear he isn’t ready to give up. The civil charges will continue, he said– “The House has authorized me to hire staff and legal staff who can pursue civilly through the courts to try to get a federal judge to order, separately, this discovery.”
A little known fact is that the same U.S. Attorney who is currently investigating the criminal contempt charges for Eric Holder is the Attorney who is investigating the national security leaks by journalists in recent days. Whether it was revealing American cyberattacks on Iran, publishing President Obama’s “kill list,” or a number of other highly-sensitive national security issues, reporters recently have been publishing stories that should have remained classified for the safety of the country. We still aren’t aware of how the media got this information. Attorney Machen is investigating these leaks at the same time that he is investigating the criminal charges for Eric Holder. He has great interest in investigating issues independently– regardless of the fact that he works for AG Holder, he likes to investigate issues in an objective manner.
We need answers on both of these issues– we need answers on why AG Holder is so set on keeping certain documents out of the Oversight Committee’s hands, and we need answers on why certain members of the media have been given information regarding highly-sensitive national security issues. The same U.S. Attorney is investigating both of these cases; the question now is what his decisions will be on each of these cases.