Fast and Furious document dump reveals Holder's anger at 'Issa and his idiot cronies'

Overshadowed by Election Day focus on the polls, Eric Holder’s Justice Department dumped 65,000 documents in response to a court order late Monday.  It will take some time for Darrel Issa’s investigators to review them all, but already some disturbing language has been revealed.  Al Kames and Sari Horowitz report in the Washington Post:

How embarrassing are they? Some highlights:

In one April 2011 e-mail, as the investigation was heating up, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote senior officials that: “Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country. All they want to do — in reality — is cripple ATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] and suck up to the gun lobby. Politics at its worst — maybe the media will get it.”

Holder has always claimed that he didn’t know about the tactics used in the operation until February 2011. On Feb. 23, after he was alerted to a CBS News story that had just broken, he sent an e-mail at 5:27 p.m. to senior DOJ officials saying: “Ok. We need answers on this, not defensive bs — real answers.”

In October 2011, as the controversy was gathering steam and Issa was demanding more documents, White House senior adviser Valerie  Jarrett wrote Holder with a subject line “Fast and Furious.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Time to go to the mattresses,” Holder responded. “Ready for the fight. Will send some of our stuff. All I have are the facts.”

Three minutes later, Jarrett responded: “Facts always work.”

But there are a lot of facts that Holder still wants to keep secret, including e-mails to his wife and mother that he is laughably claiming executive privilege on.

Issa is hardly satisfied with the latest batch of e-mails. “When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt of Congress he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress,” Issa said in the committee statement.

“Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue.”

Issa is worried about redactions in the documents already produced.  Evan Perez of CNN:

I am deeply concerned that some redactions to these documents may still be inappropriate and contrary to the judge's order in the case. This production is nonetheless a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check executive branch power.

As the production is extensive and may contain sensitive information, our investigative staff will be carefully examining the documents.

With the Senate to come under GOP control, a special committee on Fast and Furious is a genuine possibility.  The Senate will also have to confirm a replacement for Holder, and those confirmation hearings will offer ample opportunity to demand a pledge to reveal all documents subpoenaed.  The answer will be unsatisfactory, almost certainly.  It may be a long time before a new AG is confirmed.

Overshadowed by Election Day focus on the polls, Eric Holder’s Justice Department dumped 65,000 documents in response to a court order late Monday.  It will take some time for Darrel Issa’s investigators to review them all, but already some disturbing language has been revealed.  Al Kames and Sari Horowitz report in the Washington Post:

How embarrassing are they? Some highlights:

In one April 2011 e-mail, as the investigation was heating up, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote senior officials that: “Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country. All they want to do — in reality — is cripple ATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] and suck up to the gun lobby. Politics at its worst — maybe the media will get it.”

Holder has always claimed that he didn’t know about the tactics used in the operation until February 2011. On Feb. 23, after he was alerted to a CBS News story that had just broken, he sent an e-mail at 5:27 p.m. to senior DOJ officials saying: “Ok. We need answers on this, not defensive bs — real answers.”

In October 2011, as the controversy was gathering steam and Issa was demanding more documents, White House senior adviser Valerie  Jarrett wrote Holder with a subject line “Fast and Furious.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Time to go to the mattresses,” Holder responded. “Ready for the fight. Will send some of our stuff. All I have are the facts.”

Three minutes later, Jarrett responded: “Facts always work.”

But there are a lot of facts that Holder still wants to keep secret, including e-mails to his wife and mother that he is laughably claiming executive privilege on.

Issa is hardly satisfied with the latest batch of e-mails. “When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt of Congress he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress,” Issa said in the committee statement.

“Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue.”

Issa is worried about redactions in the documents already produced.  Evan Perez of CNN:

I am deeply concerned that some redactions to these documents may still be inappropriate and contrary to the judge's order in the case. This production is nonetheless a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check executive branch power.

As the production is extensive and may contain sensitive information, our investigative staff will be carefully examining the documents.

With the Senate to come under GOP control, a special committee on Fast and Furious is a genuine possibility.  The Senate will also have to confirm a replacement for Holder, and those confirmation hearings will offer ample opportunity to demand a pledge to reveal all documents subpoenaed.  The answer will be unsatisfactory, almost certainly.  It may be a long time before a new AG is confirmed.