As Congress Receives New Information on Fast and Furious
Holder’s latest testimony truly defies explanation
When is a duck not a duck? When Eric Holder says it’s a fish, apparently.
On Thursday, the Attorney General was summoned ONCE AGAIN to testify before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Fast and Furious scandal.
Holder’s testimony was required because Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) had recently received copies of Department of Justice wiretap requests leaked, at great personal risk, from yet another government whistleblower.
The House of Representatives, and Issa in particular, have long been frustrated by the AG’s stonewalling in not turning over documents revealing who knew what at top levels of the DoJ in the failed “gun walking” operation.
The wiretap requests make it clear that top DoJ officials knew guns were being walked across the border into Mexico. Holder’s response to that was that at high levels, the wiretap requests aren’t reviewed, that staffers simply prepare summaries, and of course, no one ever briefed him.
The Left is being quick to pounce on the fact that whoever leaked the documents to Rep. Issa did, in fact, break a federal law. The wiretap applications are under seal from a federal court because they are being used in ongoing prosecutions. To his credit, Rep. Issa is NOT going to reveal his sources.
As he told Fox News, “We’re not going to make our whistleblower available. That’s been one of the most sensitive areas, because some of the early whistleblowers are already feeling retribution. They’re being treated horribly.”
The hearings were rancorous from the start. At one point, faced with yet another Holder non-answer, Rep. Issa snapped, “You’re not a good witness.”
But the most truly bizarre moment came under questioning by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who read excerpts from three different e-mails the Committee had obtained regarding Justice Department involvement.
The most damning of the e-mails was sent from Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein to DoJ official James Trusty. It asks: “Do you think we should have Lanny participate in press when Fast and Furious and Laura’s Tucson case are unsealed? It’s a tricky case, given the number of guns that have walked, but it is a significant set of prosecutions.”
“Laura’s Tucson case” refers to operation Wide Receiver, yet another gun walking initiative.
Incredibly, the Attorney General said the following in response:
“That refers to Wide Receiver, not to Fast and Furious. The e-mail that you just read – now this is important – that email referred to Wide Receiver, it did not refer to Fast and Furious. That has to be noted for the record.”
Talk about Orwellian doublespeak! According to Holder, a note about two named operations refers only to the second one!
Rep. Chaffetz had to pause in disbelief. Finally he replied, “No it doesn’t…. it’s specific to Fast and Furious. That is not true, Mr. Attorney General. I’m happy to share it with you.”
Rep. Chaffetz has stated on television recently that he believes formal contempt charges against Holder are the only remaining option for Congress. The effort to bring such charges is well underway. Additionally, 114 Representatives have cosponsored H. Res. 490, a resolution expressing that Congress has “lost confidence” in the Attorney General.