Contempt Charge Against Holder By Congress One Step Closer – OpEd
By Jim Kouri
GOP House of Representatives members who are investigating the Operation Fast and Furious debacle received the nod from their party leadership to seek a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, a federal law enforcement source told the Law Enforcement Examiner this morning.
The House resolution accuses Holder and his Justice Department of obstructing lawful investigation of accusations that the Obama Justice Department allowed thousands of guns to be smuggled — or “walked” — across the U.S.-Mexican border into the waiting hands of Mexican organized crime gangs currently fighting a de facto war against President Felipe Calderon’s government.
If passed by a House vote, the contempt citation would order the controversial Attorney General to deliver to the House Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee thousands documents related to the probe of the gun-smuggling operation that resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent — Brian Terry — and possibly an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, near Mexico City.
Attorney General Holder insists he has cooperated fully with the investigation and he will continue to assist congressmen in their probe.
Congressional Republicans and their investigators have been probing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Fast and Furious “Gunwalker” scandal. Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been openly vocal about seeking a contempt citation against Holder.
The Oversight Committee’s contempt resolution will require a full House vote and, if it passes, the Congressmen would probably look to the federal courts to enforce the citation.
Law Enforcement Examiner sources claim that Republican House staffers have moved slowly in building their case and in creating the motion to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress.
“All government officials are bound by the limits of the Constitution and the rule of law, including the President and the Attorney General. Unfortunately, this Administration continues to put a partisan agenda ahead of the Constitution and the rule of law,” Congressman Issa said.
A recent committee report revealed a number of high profile examples the Justice Department’s ignoring the U.S. Constitution in order to impose the Administration’s partisan agenda on the American people. From blocking investigations of Operation Fast and Furious and Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare to refusing to enforce and defend certain laws, the Attorney General has allowed a partisan agenda to guide the Justice Department’s decisions.
The high profile examples currently under investigation are: Stalling Investigation of Operation Fast & Furious; Failing to Enforce Immigration Laws; Challenging Voter ID Laws; Blocking Congressional Inquiries; Refusing to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act; Ignoring the Constitution’s Limited Recess Appointment Power.
“Beginning with the Attorney General’s refusal to prosecute members of the radical group the New Black Panther Party for their flagrant voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential election right through to the recent DOJ ignoring of the Black Panthers placing a bounty on the head of Robert Zimmerman, the suspect in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, the Justice Department has walked a thin line between disinterest and racism,” said former police lieutenant George Harley, himself an African American police official.
“Of all agencies in the federal government, the Justice Department, because of the great power it holds over Americans’ Constitutional rights, should not impose their own partisan agenda. Unfortunately, under the Obama Administration, the Justice Department has become more partisan than ever,” the report states.
“Rather than fulfilling the Attorney General’s oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States’ and the President’s Constitutional responsibility to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ the Justice Department in the Obama Administration, under the leadership of Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., has repeatedly put its partisan agenda ahead of its Constitutional duties. The pattern of pushing partisan ideology rather than neutrally enforcing the law began nearly as soon as the Administration took office and has continued unabated since,” according to the committee report.