In The News
Eric Holder’s Bad Week, And it’s only Wednesday.
Human Events, By John Hayward
Washington, May 5, 2011
Tags: Judiciary Committee
One member of the Obama Administration who isn’t enjoying the Bin Laden Victory Lap is Attorney General Eric Holder. He’s been having a very bad week, and it’s only Wednesday.
Yesterday, Holder was mercilessly grilled by House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa about the infamous “Project Gunrunner / Operation Fast and Furious” scandal. Issa has come into possession of documents that show Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer approved wiretaps connected with Operation Fast and Furious last year. Holder nevertheless maintained he only heard about the operation a few weeks ago. Those lovable scamps in the Justice Department! They’re always getting up to wacky hijinks, like passing out weapons to murderous Mexican drug cartels, when the boss isn’t looking!
Issa made it clear he wants to know who authorized the program that ultimate put assault rifles in the hands of the thugs who shot U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, among others. “The notion that somehow or another this Justice Department is responsible for those deaths… that assertion is offensive,” cried Holder.
“What if it’s accurate, Mr. Attorney General?” Issa shot back, before wondering how he could tell Agent Terry’s mother that her son was killed by “a gun that was videotaped as it was being sold to a straw purchaser, fully expecting it to end up in the hands of drug cartels.”
Issa also asked why Holder’s office has been ignoring his subpoenas, producing a feeble “dog ate my homework” non-answer about how long it takes to pull that kind of paperwork together. The amazing exchange can be viewed in its entirety here.
No sooner had Holder limped to the edge of the House Oversight steel cage than he was tackled by Texas Representative Louie Gohmert, who is angry about the DOJ’s refusal to prosecute several Muslim groups (including the ubiquitous CAIR) on charges of supporting and financing terrorism.
Gohmert maintains that U.S. attorney James Jacks of Dallas dropped the indictments under political pressure from the White House, which is supposedly concerned about angering the Muslim community. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Congressman’s colleague Peter King (R-NY) claims to have been “reliably informed that not only prosecutors, but FBI agents involved in the case, had ‘vehement’ objections to Washington’s interference.”
Holder declared his intention to “stick up for his people” against the House Judiciary Committee. He angrily told Gohmert, “There’s one thing I want to say that I think is grossly unfair. You cast aspersions on a person I don’t know that has served, I understand, the United States Department of Justice and the people of this country quite well for a good number of years. You’ve implied that he would take a position in a case in order to maintain a position as an acting U.S. Attorney or to become the U.S. Attorney. These are the kinds of things that will get reported in the newspapers. People who don’t know this gentleman, they’ll wonder about him. That's a very unfair thing to do, given that I don’t think there’s any basis for the assertions that you have made.”
Gohmert stood his ground, asking “Did you look at the documents available in this case. You say I’m being unfair. Have you looked at the evidence in the case? ....I don’t appreciate the allegation that I’m making unfounded allegations. I don’t know how many cases you’ve tried in court or prosecuted but I can assure you, if you had someone with the impeachment material that’s available on Mr. Jacks, the inconsistencies and you didn’t pursue it, you would not be an effective trial lawyer.”
The encounter ended with King, Gohmert, Holder, and Jacks still gritting their teeth and hauling in opposite directions on the Tug Rope of Truth. Meanwhile, Assistant A.G. Lanny Breuer may soon find out just how far Holder is willing to go to “stick up for his people.”