A face-to-face meeting between GOP Rep. Darrell Issa and Attorney General Eric Holder concerning Fast and Furious documents has been scheduled for 5:00 pm Tuesday afternoon in the Capitol.
On June 14, Holder wrote that, “the Department is prepared to provide documents that, while outside the scope of the Committee’s interest in the inappropriate tactics used in Fast and Furious, are responsive to how the Department’s understanding of the facts regarding that matter evolved throughout 2011 and how the Department came to withdraw its February 4, 2011, letter to Senator Grassley.”
Those are the documents specifically requested by Issa. Tick tick tick….
William La Jeunesse at Fox News reports:
Holder has posed making a deal with Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, by offering some key documents in exchange for Issa calling off a contempt vote scheduled for Wednesday.
“They say they have the documents,” Issa said a few hours before the scheduled meeting. “We’re hoping to receive those documents before the 5 p.m. meeting. That was a contingent requirement for the meeting. … It’s not about meetings, it’s about getting documents.”
Not only must Holder deliver the roughly 1,300 documents pertaining to the Feb. 4 letter, but he must also produce a description of all the documents he will not produce. Issa says that document log is “essential for the committee to determine whether the department has substantially met its obligations.”Issa rescheduled Tuesday’s meeting from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to give his staff and the committee time to review the documents. Either way, it is a high stakes gambit on Holder’s part to forestall a contempt vote Republicans are sure to pass in the Oversight Committee, which is composed of 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats.But getting a contempt measure to the House floor could be a problem. Sources close to the investigation told Fox News that both Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor generally are not supportive of the vote against Holder. And unless the contempt citation is passed by the House as a whole, the subpoena remains a paper tiger with no force of law.Some House Republicans fear if Boehner does not fully support Issa, Issa may be forced to accept Holder’s offer so he doesn’t walk away empty-handed. It’s also possible the committee could vote to hold Holder in contempt only to see the citation die a quiet death over the summer if Boehner does not schedule a full House vote.
The Full Committee Business Meeting to consider a report holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress has been scheduled for 10:00 am Wednesday morning in the Rayburn House Office Building.
Via the Oversight and Reform press release:
Why are the post February 4, 2011, documents critically important?On February 4, 2011, the Department of Justice denied whistleblower allegations that guns in Operation Fast and Furious had been allowed to “walk” to Mexico and defended the Operation itself. Ten months later, on December 2, 2011, the Justice Department formally withdrew this denial and acknowledged that Fast and Furious was “fundamentally flawed.” In responding to Congress, however, the Justice Department has taken the position that it will not share its internal deliberations related to Operation Fast and Furious that occurred after it denied anything inappropriate occurred on February 4, 2011. This position effectively denies Congress and the American people information about:o The Justice Department switching its view from denying whistleblower allegations to admitting they were true.o Hiding the identity of officials who led the charge to call whistleblowers liars and retaliate against them.o The reactions of top officials when confronted with evidence about gunwalking in Fast and Furious, including whether they were surprised or were already aware.o The Justice Department’s assessment of responsibility for officials who knew about reckless conduct or were negligent.
o Whether senior officials and political appointees at fault in Operation Fast and Furious were held to the same standards as lower level career employees whom the Department has primarily blamed.While officials at the Department of Justice had earlier claimed that divulging this information would have a “chilling effect” on future internal deliberations, they have more recently expressed a greater willingness to produce this material. Congress, under both Democratic and Republican leadership, has never recognized internal agency discussions as privileged and protected.