Fast and Furious: Groundhog Day at House Oversight

Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee today was, in the main, a re-run of past appearances before Congress.  He kept the stone wall firm and tight, while angrily denying he was running a cover-up, and accusing investigators of running “political gotcha games.”

Here’s Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) cutting to the chase, and asking Holder how many more U.S. Border Patrol agents would have had to die as part of Operation Fast and Furious before the Attorney General would finally take responsibility:

Holder continued his “incompetence defense” of insisting that he really doesn’t know anything that happens at the Justice Department, and can’t recall details about anything relating to Fast and Furious.  He even claimed he never saw some of the subpoenas he’s been ignoring. 

Rep. Buerkle noted the strange silence from our famously talkative President on the subject of Eric Holder and Operation Fast and Furious.  Holder continued to insist he has never discussed Fast and Furious with either Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton… this despite hundreds of Mexican citizens being killed by Holder’s “botched gun walking operation.”  Holder actually tried suggesting to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that nobody else in the Administration wants to talk to him, because they’re afraid of getting dragged into the politically-motivated Fast and Furious investigation.

Courtesy of The Right Scoop, here’s an amazing exchange where Holder vows to crack down on the people who blew the whistle on Fast and Furious.  Holder later confessed he has never apologized to the completely vindicated whistleblowers whose veracity he had previously questioned.

Although Holder continues to insist he’s a team player and the paragon of transparency, an annoyed Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) pointed out that Holder’s withholding of documents contrasts sharply with the way his predecessors handled subpoena, and called Holder’s tactics “baloney,” concluding that “there are some things hidden on this documents that you don’t want us to see”:

It’s easy to understand Rep. Burton’s surprised reaction to learning that Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division Chief Patrick Cunningham quit just days after taking the Fifth Amendment to escape giving Fast and Furious testimony… or Rep. Darrell Issa’s incredulous response when Holder claimed there’s nothing fishy about Cunningham’s actions.  Happily, Holder promised to continue reviewing Justice Department documents pertaining to Cunningham’s actions, and will hand over anything he decides Congress should see.  Hopefully Issa and Burton know better than to hold their breath waiting for those new documents.

Holder deflected other questions by referencing the antique “internal investigation” into Fast and Furious his department is supposedly conducting – an inquest that has now run for several months longer than the investigation into JFK’s assassination.  He promised that anyone accused of wrongdoing when this epic probe is completed – presumably at some point after the next presidential election, or maybe the one after that – would be “removed from federal service.”

As for the contempt of Congress charges Issa has threatened Holder with, my prediction yesterday was proven true: Holder rejected the February 9th deadline laid out in Issa’s letter, and will evidently ignore the contempt charges.  

Holder, echoed by Democrats on the Oversight Committee, also took the opportunity to renew their calls for more gun-control laws, which many suspect was the true purpose of Operation Fast and Furious all along.