WASHINGTON, DC – Calls for the congressional subpoena of Attorney General Eric Holder to be enforced are now crossing party lines.
Representative Joe Donnelly (Indiana – D) is on record that he supports the House oversight committee’s efforts to question Attorney General Eric Holder concerning Operation Fast and Furious. Speaking to The Daily Caller, Donnelly said, “There has been a serious allegation of federal law enforcement misconduct and we need to get to the bottom of this issue without playing partisan politics.”
Ever since it was revealed that a U.S. Border Agent was killed with a gun purposefully placed into the hands of a Mexican drug cartel, the U.S. Justice Department has refused to acknowledge its complicity in the matter. Holder has consistently failed to comply with the congressional subpoena House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa served him on Oct. 12, 2011.
Of the 22 categories in the subpoena, the Attorney General has provided no documents for 13 of them at all. In a briefing paper accompanying the drafted contempt citation, Issa said Holder hasn’t “completely fulfilled” any of the categories in which Justice has produced documents.
According to the draft contempt citation, in “late October 2011, the Department acknowledged that it had ‘already begun searches’” for those documents. However, as of today, the Justice Department has not turned over a single file that names Holder and four other officials to the gun-walking scandal. Holder has produced two documents related to another official but none that are known to name or implicate him.
Even though Holder has refused to comply with the subpoena, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the House oversight committee’s top ranking Democrat, insists Holder has not failed to comply. On Monday, Cummings spokeswoman Ashley Etienne said Cummings believes Holder hasn’t failed to comply because the Department of Justice is “still producing documents.”
Cummings also accused those pushing for compliance with the subpoena with trying to “generate press for political purposes.” He told Fox News that, “Holding someone in contempt is one of the most serious actions Congress can take, but it is being used in this case as part of a partisan election year witch-hunt.”
But other Democrats like Joe Donnelly don’t agree. Donnelly was among 31 House Democrats who wrote President Obama last year asking him to instruct Holder to comply with the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious. They said in the letter both the program’s tactics and the withholding of information were “troubling.”
Other Democrats who signed that letter included: Pennsylvania Reps. Jason Altmire, Tim Holden and Mark Critz; California Reps. Joe Baca, Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa; Georgia Reps. Sanford Bishop and John Barrow; Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell; Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler; Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper; Illinois Rep. Jerry Costello; Oregon Reps. Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader; New Mexico Reps. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan; North Carolina Reps. Larry Kissell , Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre; Utah Rep. Jim Matheson; Maine Rep. Mike Michaud; New York Rep. Bill Owens; Minnesota Reps. Collin Peterson and Tim Walz; Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan.
Several months ago President Barack Obama said of Fast and Furious: “There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made, and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.” The White House still contends that neither the President nor Attorney General approved Fast and Furious. But Eric Holder’s continuing refusal to comply is now making more than a few Democrats ask why.
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