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Friday Document Dump: DOJ releases a bit more on F&F

In what has become a pattern, Attorney General Eric Holder dumped more documents related to Operation Fast and Furious on congressional investigators late Friday.

Terry Frieden of CNN reported that Holder coughed up “hundred of pages” of documents. Assuming that means Holder did not produce more than 1,000 documents, the Justice Department is still far from compliance with lawful congressional subpoenas.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has subpoenaed 80,000 pages of documents concerning Fast and Furious. Holder has only provided about 7,000 pages. He has, however, given all 80,000 to his internal investigator — DOJ’s Office of Inspector General.

Issa has laid the groundwork to hold Holder in contempt of Congress in the near future if he doesn’t comply with the subpoenas.

Frieden also reported that few of the documents Holder dumped on Congress are actually related to Fast and Furious.

“Most of the documents deal with a 2007 operation involving Fidel Hernandez, who the ATF believed would be prosecuted for gun violations in Mexico by Mexican authorities,” Frieden wrote.

According to congressional Democrats on the House oversight committee, in the “Hernandez case” ATF agents, working with Mexican police, planned to track illegal weapons as they left the United States all the way to their final destination. But Mexican police reported they never saw the vehicle that ATF agents had followed to the border.

By contrast, in Fast and Furious, President Barack Obama’s administration intentionally let guns fall into the hands of criminals and did not let Mexico’s government know of the plan.

The U.S. government lost track of the guns as soon as ATF agents let them “walk,” or end up in the hands of straw buyers — people who legally purchase weapons in the U.S. before illegally passing them off to arms traffickers. Known drug cartel criminals ended up getting a hold of the weapons and, at that point, the only place ATF agents could recover the weapons was at crime scenes.

When Mexican drug cartels commit murders, it’s a common practice for them to leave the firearms they used in the killings at the scene of the crime.

This latest document dump comes on the heels of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz throwing their public support behind Holder — all while the DNC itself dissembled and attacked The Daily Caller for pressing the political party for answers about the Fast and Furious scandal.


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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Darrell Issa asks Eric Holder why gun suspect let go

According to a ATF “Report of Investigation” obtained by POLITICO, Celis-Acosta was stopped heading into Mexico from Arizona on May 29, 2010.

Despite his claim that he had no ammunition in his BMW, a Customs and Border Patrol Officer found an AK-type high-capacity drum magazine holding 74 rounds of 7.62 ammunition underneath the spare tire in Celis-Acosta’s trunk.

Later, after the Customs and Border Patrol officers learned that Celis-Acosta was under investigation for firearms trafficking, ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister arrived at the scene to question him.

After an interview, the special agent wrote her contact information on a 10 dollar bill, and Celis-Acosta promised to cooperate with federal agents and call her upon his return from Mexico. He was then allowed to go free.

The Fast and Furious operation attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons traffickers but instead ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators lost thousands of firearms, many of which crossed the border into Mexico.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74220.html#ixzz1plzT2zDB

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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Reply with quote  #153 

While at Sam's today

I saw this and had to take a picture of it to share this with you all
   


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #154 

"Catch & release" of Fast and Furious gun traffickers
  

Fox News covers the latest on the investigation of the failed Justice Department Operation Fast & Furious -- focusing on the "catch and release" of known gun traffickers.


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Beckwith

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Top DoJ official refuses Fast and Furious subpoena

Erica Ritz is reporting that on Friday evening, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich refused the congressional request for subpoenaed documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious -- claiming that GOP lawmakers can’t be trusted with the information.

According to CNN, in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Weich suggested that sensitive information was being leaked to the media by their staffs.

“While we do not know who provided these letters to reporters, we are deeply disturbed that the sensitive law-enforcement information contained in them has now entered the public realm…This public disclosure is impeding the department’s efforts to hold individuals accountable for their illegal acts,” he said.

 


Ronald Weich and Holder

Therefore, Weich is denying Issa‘s and Grassley’s subpoena because of the “sensitivity” of the ongoing operation.

Issa spokeswoman Becca Watkins responded Friday night, saying, “It is troubling that the attorney general continues to express the outlandish view that his compliance with lawful and binding subpoenas is merely optional.”

CNN reports:

The ongoing dispute over access to Justice documents stems from an aggressive investigation by Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, with Grassley’s help, into the origins and impact of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Operation Fast and Furious. That sting operation allowed agents to monitor illegally purchased long guns in Arizona gun shops. The weapons bought by straw purchasers were then smuggled into Mexico. Hundreds of weapons were then lost, and two of them turned up at the homicide site of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Attorney General Eric Holder has acknowledged the flawed tactic, and has vowed that guns will not be allowed ‘to walk’ from gun shops near the border with Mexico.

Again, I contend that it's time for Issa to stop the Kabuki dance and act.  Holder must bow to the will of Congress of face impeachment.
 


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bushido

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Reply with quote  #156 
And if Joe Q. Citizen refused to comply with a subpoena?   Handcuffs?
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Reply with quote  #157 
The key to getting Obama on his heels is to separate him from Holder.  Issa has the real and moral means to do this.  If anybody can find a smart analysis of why Issa is holding off, I would love to read it.  Beckwith, you are right.  It is time for Issa to ACT...
SigP226

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Reply with quote  #158 
It's clear the Obama administration is the one that can't be trusted.  Why hasn't Issa nailed Holder? Some guesses include he lacks the fortitude, hasn't gotten approval from Boehner, or he's waiting until the election is in full swing and they use this as leverage against Obama.  Seems like there is plenty of evidence no matter how you view the information released. 

But then again, look what happened to the prosecutors found to be withholding exculpatory evidence in the Senator Stevens trial - nothing. Unfortunately this likely won't be any different.   
Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #159 

It's simpler than that

 

Issa is a politician engaging in the politician's favorite pastime -- talk -- he's in the press all the time -- Issa, Issa, Issa -- but all he does is hold Congressional hearings and issue press releases.

 

He has more ammo than the 3rd Army right now.

 

What he lacks are gonads and will.


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Reply with quote  #160 
Beckwith,
of course you know, that I have NEVER trusted Issa, since the beginning of this interrogation....  he hasn't even pulled them in on the lack of supplying all the documentation that has been ordered by the Committee (they have only supplied about 1 half of 1 percent of the available documentation to date) reguired by subpoena.....I think he is just doing all of this to keep eyes on him and off of the other core issues that need to be examined, such as the NDAA and several other things as well as the probe and outcome of the Arpiao's work.......and the lack of Obama coming clean on his Birth Certificate through Court Ordered hearings and subpoena's also........   divide and conquer in all things relative to keeping Obama in office, as is the Alinsky way, in other words skew up the works so badly that no one knows what to do next or how to take over and actually force Obama to comply with anything,  let alone everything such as OBEYING THE ACTUAL CONSTITUTION and LAWS......   I think Issa is a PLAYER and is PLAYING AMERICA!!!   If I am wrong, I will gladly eat my words....
Beckwith

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"Drug lords" targeted in Fast & Furious worked for FBI

Alex Newman is reporting that in another significant embarrassment to the scandal-plagued Obama administration, newly released documents revealed that the supposed "drug lords" being targeted in the deadly federal "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation were actually working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) all along.

Thousands of American weapons were illegally offered to violent Mexican cartels by the Justice Department as part of the controversial program -- many of them paid for by U.S. tax dollars through the two FBI assets supposedly being targeted in the investigation. Those guns were later linked to hundreds of murders, including the killings of U.S. federal agents.
 
The operation came to a screeching halt after it was exposed in Congress and the media by whistle-blowers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF). The government responded to the scandal by claiming it was simply attempting to investigate Mexican cartels using a program that went tragically wrong.
 
But the facts paint a much different picture. According to documents obtained recently by the Los Angeles Times, the ATF zeroed in on a suspected gun trafficker named Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta. He was detained in May of 2010, questioned, and eventually released after promising to cooperate with investigators seeking to track down two supposed "drug lords."
 
Those two cartel chiefs, it turned out, were actually already on the FBI’s payroll. According to a source cited by Fox News, both of the men were considered "national security assets" who were "off limits" and "untouchable." The ATF apparently did not find out until mid-2010.
 
"This means the entire goal of Fast and Furious -- to target these two individuals and bring them to justice -- was a failure," noted Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif., pictured above) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who are investigating the scandal, in a memo to other members of Congress. ATF has refused to comment, citing ongoing investigations.

Continue reading here . . .


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Beckwith

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Napolitano perjured herself to Congress in Fast & Furious testimony

Neil McCabe is reporting that in her explosive new book Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up, Katie Pavlich makes the case that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano not only failed to stop an operation that led to the death of one of her own, Border Agent Brian A. Terry, but she also lied to Congress in sworn testimony at a hearing held to find out what really happened.

Inside sources told Pavlich that Napolitano’s testimony was in direct contradiction to emails she exchanged, and reports and briefing she received, according to an exclusive preview of the book by Human Events.

Pavlich’s book Fast and Furious is due to be released Monday, April 16. It is published by Regnery Publishing, owned by Eagle Publishing, which also owns Human Events.

Most of the focus in the Fast and Furious scandal has been on attorney Gen. Eric Holder, because his Department of Justice ran the program through its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, still referenced to as ATF, its old initials from before it was tasked with explosives.

But while Holder's people waved the questionable gun purchasers through the checkout line, Napolitano was in charge of the Mexican border those guns crossed.

Pavlich's book is particularly revealing, especially considering the lengths the Obama administration has gone to keep anyone from knowing anything about Fast & Furious and other gun-running operations. These operations involved multiple federal agencies facilitating illegal gun purchases, by co-opting the normal checks at gun stores in the Southwest, and then ignoring the guns as they were taken into Mexico. In Mexico, the guns were picked up at hundreds of gun sites.

Letting the guns slip away is a called “gun walking,” because the guns were allowed to walk.

In her September testimony to a Senate committee, Napolitano told senators she knew nothing about Fast & Furious until after Terry was killed in a gunfight on the night of Dec. 14, 2010 with an AK-47 purchased at one of the gun stores that was one of the key retailers where federal agents actively let guns walk.

In October, she told Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) at a hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee she never spoke to the Dennis Burke about Fast & Furious. Burke, who was the U.S. Attorney for the  Arizona Department, was her chief of staff when she was the governor of Arizona and a close friend.

In the same month, the Napolitano told Rep. Jason E. Chaffetz (R-Utah) at a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that she never spoke to Holder about Fast & Furious.

Homeland Security insiders paint a different picture, Pavlich reports.

Members of Congress questioning the secretary seem to know it, too.

One source said to the author, “When she says that [she] and Attorney General Eric Holder have not discussed it, that is a lie. That's why they keep asking her those questions in the Judicial, Oversight, Homeland Security Committee hearings. They've asked her that same questions twice and she’s lied twice.”

How did she know? The source said, “There are five emails linking her to Holder. They go back two days after it happened—the first email was two days after Brian was killed.”

In the emails, Holder and Napolitano discuss Terry's murder, the source said to Pavlich.

The source concedes that Holder may have “kept her in the dark” about all of the details of the gun walking, but her office approved letting the guns walk into Mexico and one of the agencies under her command, Customs and Border Protection, allowed guns through.

Another source from the ATF confirmed to Pavlich that Napolitano was briefed regularly by an agent from another of her agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE.

“There was an ICE agent assigned specifically to be the co-case agent of Fast & Furious. He had to [file] an ICE report that either mirrored or referenced every ATF report that was done,” the ATF source said.

Beyond reports, there were inter-agency jealousies that had to be settled in Washington, he said.

The source said to Pavlich there were constant battles between ICE and ATF agents over who would get credit for different seizures or other issues. “I know phone calls were made to both headquarters to try and settle those disputes.”

It was Terry's death that brought Operation Fast and Furious to an abrupt end. But now, more than 16 months later, no one has been charged with crimes associated with either the gun walking programs or the cover-up.

Pavlich makes a strong case that when people are finally charged with crimes, Napolitano will have to answer for her perjury to Congress.

“Let me tell you something about Janet,” another source said to the author. “Janet will be lucky not to go to prison.”
 

Look for Darrell Issa to make another impassioned speech.

 


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Reply with quote  #163 
A young man lost his life 16 months ago, high ranking government officials are covering up the details, their involvement, and perjuring themselves and no charges have been filed? Every congressman involved in this investigation should be held just as liable as Holder and Napolitano for allowing this atrocity to drag on.
DrJim

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I watched her testimony live and was outraged by her statement.  I expected some backlash but as usual the silence was deafening... H. Clinton also purgured herself on her denial of knowing anything...

 

SigP226

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Reply with quote  #165 
Too bad F&F doesn't get a fraction of the media coverage enjoyed by the Martin case. Seems like they might be using this boy to carry Holder's water now that F&F has been exposed.  
Beckwith

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Issa expects movement on Holder contempt charge within "weeks"

Kerry Picket is reporting that Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has yet to charge Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress for failing to supply Mr. Issa’s committee with thousands of pieces of documentation relating to the Justice Department’s gun walking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
 
Rep. Issa told me on Tuesday night to expect movement on the contempt charge towards A.G. Holder very soon.

“We’re going through a process,” said Congressman Issa. “That process is going to take weeks but not months more.”

In late January, Congressman Issa’s committee threatened contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder, if Mr. Holder failed to comply with his committee’s congressional subpoenas for the Fast and Furious documents by February 9.

A four-page letter from Mr. Issa to A.G. Holder read:

"If the department continues to obstruct the congressional inquiry by not providing documents and information, this committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress."

When A.G. Holder did not comply with the committee’s subpoena by the February 9 deadline, Rep. Issa sent a seven-page letter to Mr. Holder to note that the AG should designate someone at the Justice Department to “serve as a conduit for dealing with the contempt proceedings, should the department continue to ignore the committee’s subpoena.”

The original subpoena from Mr. Issa’s committee was issued on October 12, 2011, but according to Mr. Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Congress has received only ten percent of the documents relating to the failed gun walking operation.


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The Third Gun

The Department of Justice is using the liberal “watchdog” group Media Matters for America to deflect questions about the Fast and Furious scandal, including those regarding a gun that might have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

A new book raises questions as to whether the FBI hid the existence of a weapon recovered at the scene of murdered U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Conservative commentator and author Katie Pavlich lays out evidence she says points to a FBI cover-up to protect a confidential informant in her recently released book, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-up,

In response to an inquiry from the Free Beacon, a Justice Department spokeswoman said in an email that she “was told to direct your questions to the FBI, and also to provide you with a link to this story: http://mediamatters.org/research/201204190011”

The link was to a story at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America supposedly refuting many of Pavlich’s claims. Media Matters is a partisan organization whose founder, David Brock, is also running a pro-Obama super PAC.

In Operation Fast and Furious, federal agents allowed more than 2,000 weapons to be smuggled across the U.S.-Mexican border and into the hand of violent drug cartels, with the intent of tracking them to learn more about the cartels.

Two weapons connected to Fast and Furious were discovered at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down in the Southern Arizona desert in 2010 by five criminals armed with AK-47s.

However, Pavlich asserts there was a third gun. The book details three separate pieces of evidence that point to a third weapon being recovered and then covered up by the FBI and the Justice Department.

Border Patrol agents, who have since been issued gag orders, were overheard at Terry’s funeral discussing the third gun.

“The idea that the border patrol agents were issued gag orders and not allowed to talk about this is very telling,” Pavlich said in an interview with the Free Beacon.

An email sent less than 12 hours after Terry’s death also mentioned the weapon.

Finally, an audio recording of a discussion between Andre Howard, owner of Lone Wolf Trading Company, and ATF agent Hope MacAllister also references a third gun.

The investigation of Fast and Furious revealed that at least six FBI informants were involved in the operation, as well as an unknown number of DEA informants. Pavlich claims in her book that a confidential source told her the FBI hid the third gun from evidence because it was linked to a confidential informant or the brother of the informant.

“The reason they’re covering up the third gun is because it could lead to the confidential informant,” Pavlich said. “They’re protecting him at the cost of justice to Brian Terry and his family. I am not an expert on what confidential informants are allowed to get away with, but I guarantee they’re not allowed to kill federal agents.”


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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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Reply with quote  #168 

ATF's mysterious grenade smuggler case: new photos, documents turned over to Congress

Evidence photos just turned over to Congress under subpoena show a frightening stash of grenade parts, fuse assemblies and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition. It was all hidden in a spare tire of an SUV crossing from the US to Mexico in 2010. The accused smuggler, an alleged drug cartel arms dealer named Jean Baptise Kingery, was questioned by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) but released.

Documents handed over to Congress by the Justice Department shed new light on missteps in the grenades case, and how ATF tracked the suspect for years.

ATF started watching Kingery in "2004 related to AK47 purchases," according to an internal email, "it is believed that he is trafficking them to Mexico." A full five years later in late 2009, ATF also learned Kingery was dealing in grenades: he'd ordered 120 grenade bodies on the Internet.

Grenades are weapons of choice for Mexico's killer drug cartels. An attack on a casino in Mexico last year killed 53 people.

Documents show ATF secretly intercepted the grenade bodies Kingery had ordered, marked them, and delivered them to him on Jan. 26, 2010. Their plan was to follow Kingery to his weapons factory in Mexico, with help from Mexican authorities Immigration and Customs (ICE).

ATF realized they might lose track of Kingery and the grenade parts in Mexico. But their emails show little attention to those who could be killed. Instead, officials expressed concerned with tying the grenades to Kingery after they reached Mexico. "Even in a post blast, as long as the safety lever is recovered we will be able to identify these tagged grenades," says one email.

An official now investigating ATF and the Justice Department for their actions in the Kingery case tells CBS News: "All the usual safeguards of law enforcement were thrown out. They were more worried about making a big case than they were about the public safety."

The plan to allow Kingery to traffic grenade parts into a foreign country and track him to his factory drew strong internal objections.

"That's not possible," wrote a lead ATF official in Mexico. "We are forbidden from doing that type of activity. If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of [expletive]..." 

ATF officials in Mexico worried that once Kingery and the grenades crossed the border, they would disappear. And that's exactly what happened. Though ATF agents say they'd given all the specifics to Mexican military and police, the Mexicans failed to stop Kingery once he crossed into Mexico.

Four months later, Kingery surfaced again in the U.S. This time, the Border Patrol caught him trying to smuggle the new stash of grenade hulls shown in the photos. ATF questioned him but, once again, he was let go. Nobody has stepped forward to explain why Kingery was released after this incident. He allegedly continued to supply the Mexican drug cartels for another year and a half.

New evidence photos recently turned over to Congress show a stash of grenade parts, fuse assemblies and more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

There's more...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57421072-10391695/atfs-mysterious-grenade-smuggler-case-new-photos-documents-turned-over-to-congress/

A LOT of people need to be in prison for this stuff! Holder first, then keep going up & down the line! People have died because of this stuff. This is no where even remotely close to the Nixon stuff, nobody died and less people where involved.  This is just un-believable.


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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
Yephora

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Reply with quote  #169 
Don't worry, because
"Heeeere's Darrell!"
(crickets)
Uh, Darrell?
(crickets)
Anyone seen Darrell???
(crickets)

Sigh.
SigP226

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While Issa may want to push the Holder contempt charge, it appears Boehner may be trying to block it - link

What a comedy show. 
Beckwith

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It's on!

 

Katie Pavlich is reporting that contempt of Congress charges have been drafted for Eric Holder.

 

For nearly a year now, we've heard threats of contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder for his refusal to provide the House Oversight Committee with requested information and documents about the fatal Operation Fast and Furious program. The Justice Department has repeatedly ignored subpoenas, the White House has refused to provide key Fast and Furious witnesses and the information DOJ officials have submitted to Congress, has been so redacted, Issa describes them as "black paper" instead of white paper.

Now, members of the House Oversight Committee are tired of being patient and are ready to hold Holder accountable. A 48-page contempt citation has been drafted and House Speaker John Boehner is fully onboard with supporting the move. So what's next? The LA Times has the scoop:

If adopted by the GOP-led House, the contempt resolution would be sent to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington or perhaps an independent counsel in an attempt to force the Justice Department to provide tens of thousands of internal documents to the committee.

Update:  Boehner not onboard with charges

Update II:  Rep. Trey Gowdy, "Holder will comply"

 

Holder won't comply.  He'll continue to play hide the thimble.

 


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Guns Used to Kill Brother of Former Chihuahua State Attorney Linked to Operation Fast and Furious

Now another murder connected to Operation Fast and Furious has surfaced. According to a congressional report released, Mario González Rodríguez, brother of the state attorney general of Chihuahua at the time, was also murdered by guns traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. The U.S. withheld this information from Mexican authorities for eight months. 

The El Paso Times reported:

“On October 21, 2010, drug cartel members kidnapped Mario González Rodríguez from his office,” according to the 2011 congressional report. “At the time of the kidnapping, his sister Patricia González Rodríguez was the attorney general of the state of Chihuahua.”

Mexican officials said Patricia González Rodríguez was already on her way out because the new governor had been installed and a new state prosecutor was going to be appointed.

“A few days after the kidnapping,” the congressional report said,” a video surfaced on the Internet in which Mario González Rodríguez sat handcuffed, surrounded by five heavily armed men wearing masks, dressed in camouflage and bullet-proof vest.”

“Apparently, under duress,” the report said, “(González Rodríguez) alleged that his sister had ordered killings at the behest of the Juárez cartel … the video quickly went viral.”

Chihuahua state Attorney General Patricia González Rodríguez denied the allegations of drug corruption and traveled to Mexico City to seek the federal government’s help in investigating her brother’s murder. She is no longer in Chihuahua, and reportedly left Mexico for safety reasons.

A video of Mario González Rodríguez’s “interrogation” by armed men was carried on YouTube. The body of the well-known Chihuahua City lawyer was found Nov. 5, 2010, in a shallow grave.

Then, Mexican federal authorities, following a shootout with drug cartel suspects, seized 16 weapons and arrested eight men in connection with Mario González Rodríguez’s murder.

Mexican officials submitted information about the weapons to the ATF’s e-trace system, and the ATF traced two AK-47s to Operation Fast and Furious.

The congressional report said that an ATF email indicated that ATF officials in Phoenix who knew the two assault rifles came from the controversial operation withheld the information from Mexican officials until June 2011.

These deaths are a direct result of the DOJ’s attempt to suppress second amendment rights by using Fast and Furious documents to push more gun regulations on the great citizens of this country.  We should certainly give Attorney General Eric Holder the credit he says he deserves for Operation Fast and Furious.



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House GOP to distribute draft contempt citation against Eric Holder

Sharyl Attkisson is reporting that Republicans on the House Oversight Committee were to take the first formal step Thursday toward contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious "gunwalking" operation, CBS News has learned.

The case for a citation declaring Holder in contempt will be laid out in a briefing paper and 48-page draft citation distributed to Democrats and Republicans on the committee. CBS News has obtained copies of both documents. In them, Republican members use strong language to accuse Holder of obstructing the committee's investigation, which is now in its second year.

The documents allege that the Justice Department has issued, "false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts."

"The Justice Department's demonstrable contempt for the congressional investigation has inflicted harm on the people of two nations seeking the truth - and very pointedly on the family of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ATF whistleblowers who now face retaliation in the wake of their own heroic efforts to expose wrongdoing," says the brief to be distributed Thursday.

For its part, the Justice Department says it has complied with the congressional investigations, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

"We've done twice-a-month (document) productions since last year, and the Attorney General has testified about this matter no less than seven times," a Justice official tells CBS News.

There have been at least three House contempt actions against the Executive Branch in the past 30 years.

In 1983, Congress found EPA administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford in contempt for failing to produce subpoenaed documents.

In 1998, the GOP-controlled House Oversight committee found Attorney General Janet Reno in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena on campaign finance law violations.

In 2008, the Democrat-controlled House found former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff John Bolton in contempt for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors was politically motivated.

In 2008, the Democratic-led Oversight Committee found two White House officials in contempt in the probe of Bush Administration firings of U.S. Attorneys. Congress went to federal court to seek enforcement of that contempt action, but a compromise was reached with the Executive Branch before any court decision was final.


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Oversight Committee Outlines Case for Contempt over Fast and Furious

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has distributed a staff briefing paper and draft of the contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder to Members of the Oversight Committee.  The briefing paper explains what happened in Operation Fast and Furious, the hardships faced by the family of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in getting truthful answers about his death, how agents who blew the whistle on the reckless operation have faced retaliation, and the carnage in Mexico that Fast and Furious has helped fuel.

“This briefing paper and draft contempt report explains the case, to both Members of the Committee and the American people, for holding Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress,” said Issa. “In describing the results of the Justice Department’s refusal to cooperate – including the hardships the family of a fallen Border Patrol agent have faced in seeking the truth, and retaliation against agents who blew the whistle on gunwalking – this briefing paper provides the facts, on which decisions will be made.”

Highlights of the briefing paper include:

 

On information sharing failures (p.6):

 
 “When [firearms trafficking syndicate ringleader] Celis-Acosta informed ATF of the names of the two cartel contacts for whom he had been working, agents quickly came to learn that these two U.S.-based cartel contacts were already known to the Department of Justice … In exchange for one associate’s guilty plea to a minor charge of “Alien in Possession of a Firearm,” both of these cartel associates became FBI informants and were considered essentially unindictable well before Operation Fast and Furious concluded.  One ATF official would later say that the discovery that the primary targets of their investigation were not indictable was a “major disappointment.” Adding to the information-sharing failure, DEA had actually provided Celis-Acosta’s cartel connection to ATF in December 2009 in an effort to ensure that ATF’s efforts in Operation Fast and Furious were not duplicative.”

On the Justice Department’s Failure to Cooperate (p.9):

“When the Committee issued a subpoena to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on October 12, 2011, for Justice Department documents, the Committee specified 22 categories of documents it required the Department to produce. Department representatives specifically confirmed their understanding of each category. To date, the Department has not produced any responsive documents for 12 of the 22 categories. The Department has not completely fulfilled any of the 10 categories for which documents have been produced. For over a year, the Department has issued false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts.”

On the struggle of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s family to get the truth (p. 11):

“While the Justice Department’s admissions have largely come as a result of being confronted with indisputable facts, the painfully slow process of getting the truth has been a continuing frustration for the Terry family. They still do not have the all the facts about the circumstances surrounding Brian Terry’s murder …. As Brian’s sister said of his family’s desire to know the full truth, ‘Brian was about making a difference and justice. And I just feel that this country owes it to him, because he spent his whole life fighting for this country some way or another.’”

On Retaliation Faced by Agents who blew the whistle (p.13):

“Agent Alt notified his superiors about his impending testimony. The next day, ATF Internal Affairs notified Alt that they wanted to talk with him about another matter. On May 5, 2011, Agent Alt met with ATF internal affairs investigators about allegations that Alt downloaded two prohibited applications to his government-issued phone. The total cost of these applications was eight dollars …. Alt was prevented from transferring offices and his eligibility for promotions and pay raises barred during the pendency of the investigation – all supposedly over eight dollars in phone applications.”

On Fast and Furious fueling violence in Mexico (p. 15):

“In October 2010, cartel members kidnapped Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez, the brother of the Attorney General for the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where Juarez is located. The cartel posted a video of the kidnapped Rodriguez online, in which he alleged, under duress, that his sister had ordered killings at the behest of the Juarez cartel. The video went viral and became a major news story in Mexico. Two weeks later, Mexican authorities found Rodriguez’s body in a shallow grave. In a subsequent shootout with cartel members responsible for the murder, police arrested eight and recovered sixteen weapons. Two of these weapons traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. Although the Department of Justice learned that these weapons traced back to Fast and Furious almost immediately, no one informed the Mexican government. Not until congressional investigators were on the verge of learning the truth about the connection did an ATF agent in Mexico finally tell the Mexican Attorney General in June 2011 – seven months after Rodriguez’s murder.”

On allegations of intentional wrongdoing by Justice officials (p. 17):

“Perhaps the most damning assessments of the Department’s handling of the fallout from Operation Fast and Furious have come from two Justice Department officials. Kenneth Melson, the former Acting AFT Director during the pendency of Fast and Furious, told Congress that, “it appears thoroughly to us that the department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the department.” Patrick Cunningham, who had been tasked by the Justice Department with investigating ATF whistleblower allegations of gunwalking, would later invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in refusing to answer questions about his work.”

Click here for a copy of the staff briefing paper distributed to committee members and the draft contempt report


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House votes to cut DOJ salaries in response to Fast & Furious stonewalling


In response to more than a year of Justice Department stonewalling Congress and the American people on Operation Fast and Furious, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed by voice vote an amendment cutting Justice Department salaries until they fully answer questions on the failed gunwalking program. Oversight Committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4) sponsored the amendment, which cuts $1,000,000 from the Justice Department’s General Administration fund and is part of the FY 2013 DoJ Appropriation.

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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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