Washington Examiner says AG must answer fully about Operation Fast and Furious
THE House Government Reform and Oversight Committee is expected to vote, next week, on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It is the fourth time Congress has scheduled such a vote against an executive branch member in the past 30 years. In this case, it is completely justified.
The pending contempt vote stems from Holder's failure to turn over thousands of documents related to the Justice Department's handling of Operation Fast and Furious. Under the program, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed the sale of guns to Mexico, where they ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The program came to light after guns linked to the program were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down in December 2010. After Terry's murder, on Feb. 4, 2011, Holder's Justice Department sent a letter to Congress denying government whistle-blower allegations that the Fast and Furious program allowed guns to “walk” to Mexico. Ten months later, however, on Dec. 2, 2011, Holder's DOJ reversed position, acknowledged the program's existence, and admitted it was fundamentally flawed.
The American people deserve to know why the Justice Department changed its mind about Fast and Furious and retaliated against the initial whistle-blowers, even calling them liars. It's also imperative for the public to learn who knew what about the program and when.
The Justice Department has turned over 7,600 pages of documents so far, but this is only a small fraction of the over 100,000 pages that are relevant to Fast and Furious, according to House investigators. Worse, many of the 7,600 pages Holder did turn over to Congress were either already public or so heavily redacted that they're effectively useless.
Holder has demonstrably failed to comply with the congressional subpoena that the House Oversight Committee served him with last October. He has not asserted executive privilege or otherwise explained why the relevant materials should not be surrendered to the House.
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