Republican members of the House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees have been turning up the heat on Attorney General Eric Holder over his obstructive and misleading testimony about Fast and Furious, the operation in which the ATF coerced American gun dealers into selling firearms to Mexican cartels, and then allowed them to “walk” across our southern border (all without a whisper to the Mexican government).
After being threatened with a contempt of Congress vote (scheduled for Wednesday, June 20), Holder made a last-ditch attempt to avert what he has repeatedly referred to as a “constitutional crisis,” requesting a meeting with Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to “discuss [the Department of] Justice’s knowledge of the controversial ‘gun walking’ tactics used in Fast and Furious, including information about whistleblowers.” Issa agreed to the meeting, but informed Holder that nothing less than full disclosure – including the handover of all documents related to the program, its cover-up, and the action taken against ATF whistleblowers – would be acceptable.
That meeting took place at 5:00 this evening, and lasted all of 20 minutes. It turns out that Holder was trying once again to play the House Oversight Committee – a fact that should surprise nobody, as the attorney general has approached the entire Fast and Furious oversight effort with the same arrogance we’ve come to expect from him and the rest of the Obama administration.
Instead of providing the documents that Issa had specifically requested, Holder arrived on Capitol Hill with nothing but an offer to brief Issa on the missing docs (all 240,000 of them). Of course, this is already being portrayed by both the administration and the media as a major effort to meet the GOP halfway on this issue (i.e., “hey, come on, he met with them!”). The Hill quotes Holder as saying, I think the ball’s in their court. They rejected what I thought was an extraordinary offer on our part.” However, the fact is that Holder is the one who requested the meeting. Issa simply requested the documents, which still have not been turned over.
Immediately after the meeting ended, Issa tweeted confirmation that the contempt vote would go forward as promised due to Holder’s continued stonewalling.