Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Applications in Congressional Record (Update!: ATF Honcho: “ATF Needs to F—k” Whistleblowers)

More “political gamesmanship” from the GOP via Ace of Spades HQ:

This is that red-banner headline Drudge has — but the site is overloaded and can’t be reached.

But JohnE. reached it earlier, and sent it by email.

This is from Roll Call. Update: Link now appears to be working.

Darrell Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Applications in Congressional Record

By Jonathan Strong
Roll Call Staff
June 29, 2012, 12:06 p.m.

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.

The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.

The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.

According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.

Holder and Cummings have both maintained that the wiretap applications did not contain such details and that the applications were reviewed narrowly for probable cause, not for whether any investigatory tactics contained followed Justice Department policy.


I’ve gotta run, you can read Ace’s reaction, here.


Via Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller: Grassley: Politics in US attorney’s decision not to prosecute Holder?

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is pressing Ron Machen, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, to explain whether political interference has blocked him from prosecuting Attorney General Eric Holder, whom the House of Representatives held in criminal contempt yesterday.

After the contempt vote, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote to House Speaker John Boehner saying the administration has decided it won’t ask Machen to enforce the resolution.

“The Department has determined that the Attorney General’s response to the subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform does not constitute a crime, and therefore the Department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the Attorney General,” Cole wrote.

But in a letter to Machen, Grassley wrote Friday that the U.S. attorney doesn’t appear to have personally made the decision not to prosecute. It appears, he wrote, that Holder or some other political figure in the Obama administration made it for him, and that the decision seems to lack even the appearance of “independence.”

This Attorney General is as clean as a whistle. Those awful Republicans just need to stop being motivated by partisan politics…
This was posted on the Clean-up ATF whistleblower website, today:
We are midst of never before seen levels of corruption, mismanagement and deceit at DOJ and ATF.The conduct of DOJ is mind-blowing.What has and is taking place at ATF is never going away until it is addressed with something other than words of false promise. Excuses and a failure to react/address do not fly with ATF Agents. Someone has to find the character to walk the walk and stop talking.The executives know full well what happened in Fast and Furious. They know the who, what, when, where, why and how. They know.That level of understanding also applies to the Reno Field Office, the preferred treatment for SES’s in trouble, the issues affecting moral, and the individual issues of Vince Cefalu, all the whistleblowers, Jay Dobyns and everything else dirty about our agency.The leadership of DOJ and ATF all know what time it is on every aspect of every dispute. They know.


In a Friday letter to the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Grassley and Issa said they’re now concerned retaliation is much more likely following Thursday’s votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.

“We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them,” they wrote before describing how senior political figures have made dangerous threats before.

Grassley and Issa said that in early 2011, right around the time Grassley first made public the whistleblowers’ allegations about Fast and Furious, Scot Thomasson – then the chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division – said, according to an eyewitness account: “We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys [the whistleblowers] and take them down.”

Thomasson also allegedly said that: “All these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f—k these guys.”

According to Grassley and Issa, when Thomasson was asked about whistleblowers’ allegations that guns were allowed to walk, Thomasson said he “didn’t know and didn’t care.”

The  details of secret wiretap applications that Issa put into the Congressional Record can be found here.
Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and a contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and then a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on border-enforcement issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

When Obama nominated Burke to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times he believed he understood what the president and his attorney general wanted him to do.

I guess so.


Doug Ross: Sharyl Attkisson double-taps Eric Holder on CBS News: perjury, cover-up and retribution confirmed

Linked by Points and Figures, thanks!


9 thoughts on “Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Applications in Congressional Record (Update!: ATF Honcho: “ATF Needs to F—k” Whistleblowers)

  1. Pingback: Breakfast Links | Points and Figures

  2. Pingback: DAG Cole: Won’t Prosecute Holder | Lady Liberty 1885

  3. Why go to such great lengths to hide documents? Why did the President invoke Executive Privilege? The answer is very simple: to cover something up. The President said he did this to protect national security due to the highly confidential nature of the documents. Too bad the current administration wasn’t as concerned with confidentiality when they leaked highly classified intelligence information to score political points. Former President Nixon invoked Executive Privilege to prevent the release of the Watergate tapes. Why, because they implicated him and we know how his story ended. Unfortunately Obama and his administration seem to be going down the same road of deception. Only time will tell.


  4. Holder and Obama aren’t the only ones covering up. This scandal should be page one news in every newspaper in America. How this ends up, depends a lot on how far Obama’s media sycophants are willing to go in order to cover for his corrupt administration.
    One thing is for sure, as more facts come out, it becomes harder to dispute what the Republicans are doing. Republicans need to keep fighting for answers, and damn the race-baiting torpedoes.


  5. Pingback: The Morning Links (7/2/12) | Lady Liberty 1885

  6. Pingback: Republicans to File a Civil Suit Over Executive Privilege, Says Boehner (Video) « Nice Deb

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