On Verge of Contempt Vote, Holder Wants Private Meeting with Issa
During the Senate Judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday regarding Fast and Furious Attorney General Eric Holder said he was "prepared to make compromises with regard to documents that can be made available."
Now Holder has requested a private meeting with Chairman Darrell Issa by Monday -- 2 days before the House Oversight Committee is scheduled to vote on whether to hold the top law enforcement officer in contempt of Congress.
"The department's willingness to provide these materials is a serious, good faith effort to bring this matter to an amicable resolution," Holder wrote. "However, because as the chairman only you have the authority to bind the committee, I continue to believe that a meeting is required both to assure that there are no misunderstandings about this matter and to confirm that the contents of the proposal we are making will be deemed sufficient to render the process of contempt unnecessary. I seek your direct engagement for precisely that reason."
Holder's last ditch effort to stave off contempt charges came after a June 13 letter from Chairman Issa outlining Holder's consistent disregard for the rule of law.
Let me be clear if the Department of Justice submits a serious proposal for how it intends to alter its refusal to produce critical documents subpoenaed by the Committee, I am ready and willing to meet and discuss your proposal.
As you may recall, a May 3, 2012, Committee memo identified three categories of documents necessary for Congress to complete its investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. On May 18 House leaders and I narrowed this request to two categories...The Department did not, however, indicate a willingness to comply or offer the committee any proposal for altering its objections to providing subpoenaed documents.
In requesting the meeting and agreeing to turn over documents Holder stated he was making "an extraordinary accommodation of the committee's interest" After sixteen months of stonewalling and perjury this statement is "extraordinary."
What about just complying with the subpoena and handing over the documents? Holder needs to provide every page requested immediately or face contempt charges and jail time. No more deals, deadlines or selective applications of the law. People are dead.
So far Issa has fought the good fight for not just dropping this tangled web and letting those responsible get away with murder. The question still remains, "Who ordered Fast and Furious back in 2009?"
But Holder like any attorney never gives an inch if it's not in his best interest. So, if at first public hearings don't succeed, try the back room deal.
As part of his counterattack Issa could carry a picture of Brian Terry into the closed meeting; a visual reminder of the mission.
When cameras aren't in the room, will the congressman from California remain unmovable and remember why he has pursued this case for so long? Will he compromise with the relentlessly conniving attorney general, or will he stay strong and not change the game plan?
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report