No Contempt? Holder Asks to Meet with Chairman Issa
Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today asking to meet with him tomorrow, June 19, 2012 at 11:00AM EST. Mr. Holder and Chairman Issa have been exchanging letters the past week. Chairman Issa told Mr. Holder if he presented documents post February 4, 2011 he would postpone the contempt vote against Mr. Holder.
Prior to February 4th, the DOJ had denied any gunwalking had taken place in a letter to Senator Grassley. More and more evidence eventually surfaced, causing the Department to withdraw the letter. Fast & Furious led to the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and 300 Mexicans. Guns have been found at 12 crime scenes in America.
Mr. Holder and the DOJ agreed to turn over post-February 4, 2011 documents.
“These documents explain how the department’s understanding of the facts of Operations Fast & Furious, Wide Receiver and similar Arizona-based investigations evolved during the post-February 4 period, and the process that led to the withdrawal of the February 4 letter,” wrote Mr. Holder. “We expect that this extraordinary accommodation will fully address the remaining concerns that you and House Leadership have identified in your written and oral communication to the Department over the last few weeks.”
Mr. Holder agreed to allow Senator Grassley to attend, but also suggested, “in keeping with the protocols of this investigation,” to allow Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and Oversight Committee Minority Ranking Member Elijah Cummings to participate.
Chairman Issa responded to Mr. Holder this evening and told Mr. Holder their offices would be open at 5:00PM EST. The Committee cannot meet until they receive the documents because they need to be read and reviewed.
Chairman Issa reminded Mr. Holder the DOJ has not told them how many pages they will withhold from February 4, 2011 – December 2, 2011. He went on to say:
“The Department has also failed to provide a log that includes descriptions of documents, the dates they were created, who created them, and individualized explanations for why the Department believes these documents should not be produced pursuant to the subpoena. Only the Department knows what it possesses,” wrote Chairman Issa. “A full understanding of the post-February 4, 2011, documents under subpoena that the Department is not prepared to produce is essential to determine whether the Department has substantially met its obligation.”
Until the Committee receives the information they’re seeking they cannot delay the contempt vote.