BREAKING: House Republicans ask for special prosecutor to investigate Eric Holder for perjury

October 4, 2011

It’s about danged time:

House Republicans are calling for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious, Fox News has learned.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was sending a letter to President Obama on Tuesday arguing that Holder cannot investigate himself, and requesting the president instruct the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.

The question is whether Holder committed perjury during a Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3. At the time, Holder indicated he was not familiar with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program known as Fast and Furious until about April 2011.

“I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,” Holder testified.

However, a newly discovered memo dated July 2010 shows Michael Walther, director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in the Fast and Furious operation “are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”

Other documents also indicate that Holder began receiving weekly briefings on the program from the National Drug Intelligence Center “beginning, at the latest, on July 5, 2010,” Smith wrote.

“These updates mentioned, not only the name of the operation, but also specific details about guns being trafficked to Mexico,” Smith wrote in the letter to Obama.

“Allegations that senior Justice Department officials may have intentionally misled members of Congress are extremely troubling and must be addressed by an independent and objective special counsel. I urge you to appoint a special counsel who will investigate these allegations as soon as possible,” Smith wrote.

Of course Obama will resist, so let the subpoenas fly….

Note also that Judiciary is where any moves to impeach AG Holder would begin.

Popcorn!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gunwalker: Rep. Issa calls for a special prosecutor

September 21, 2011

I knew this would happen eventually:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Tuesday called for a special prosecutor to investigate the growing “Fast and Furious” scandal, in which the Obama administration allowed guns to walk to Mexico, where they fell into the hands of drug lords and were found at the murder scene of at least one U.S. border agent.

Issa complained in a conference call that, “there is ongoing cover up of a pattern of wrongdoing that can’t be explained by any ordinary people (who tried) to do the right thing but made a mistake.”

The Obama administration has been slow to hand over documents to Issa’s committee, and when they have, they’ve been heavily redacted.

“Even though I have subpoena ability, I don’t have the ability to lock people up for contempt until they fess up and give us what we want,” Issa said.

A special prosecutor would have such powers, and would be independent of the government agencies that were responsible for creating and attempting to cover up details of the program.

That last is key: the scandal embraces or at least touches on several government departments involved with law enforcement — Justice, the FBI, one or more US Attorney offices, and the BATF at least. To leave the investigation of what is looking more and more like a criminal matter to the very agencies under investigation would lack any credibility; while special prosecutors (1) have in the past abused their power, it is the only tool we have that is both independent and can compel testimony under threat of punishment. (2)

Expect the calls for a special prosecutor to grow louder as we learn more about Operation Fast and Furious.

Footnotes:
(1) Some question the constitutionality of the special prosecutor (or “independent counsel”), but it was upheld in both Morrison v. Olson (1988) and later in US v. “Scooter” Libby. (PDF)
(2) Issa does have the option of seeking a citation for Contempt of Congress against Holder and other relevant officials, but that would require either referral to the US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, an Obama appointee and hence conflicted, or a trial before the House, which would turn into a circus that would probably work against the Republicans.

via Vermontaigne

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)