Time for a Perp-Walk, Holder must go – utter contempt

Update at 5:30 PST, the following diagram comes from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and is very revealing. The cover up is in full bloom and Issa will get to the bottom of this. At SUA, we feel it strains credulity how the DoJ and White House are handling this. Can you say “Watergate”? It’s always the cover up!

Please notice the web site at the bottom. Please go to the site for details here: fastandfuriousinvestigation.com. There 70 Inspectors General in the DoJ, yet, a very small amount on information has come forward since February 4th, the date the cover up began it appears.

Additionally, look at the victims in this PDF document.

By Scott W. Winchell

The White House and Congressional Democrats, in anticipation of continued hearings on the Fast and Furious debacle are attempting to down play the events to protect Eric Holder and the DoJ staff by producing their own reports on the episodes involved. The reason, Holder may be held in contempt of Congress, and therefore criminally liable.

In 1857, Congress enacted a law which made “contempt of Congress” a criminal offense against the United States.

These attempts (summarized below) include spreading the blame back into the Bush administration, and blaming field operations of acting in the wrong, of which top management at DoJ were unaware. Their conclusions do not carry the weight of the hearings however, and will not change the committee’s findings, and are by definition politically charged.

Issa to Holder - Contempt of Congress

It is a clear attempt to muddy the waters in the court of public opinion, but what really counts will be the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who will determine where the case goes.

Having the force of law behind them, including subpoena powers and contempt of Congress charges looming, no matter what the left does, if Holder is guilty as SUA has been charging, its this committee’s actions that actually count.

Dennis Wagner at USA Today writes – A U.S. House minority report on the gun-smuggling probe known as Fast and Furious blames federal agents in Arizona for the flawed operation while exonerating top-level Justice Department officials.

The 89-page analysis, released Tuesday by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is based upon five congressional hearings, testimony from 22 witnesses and about 12,000 pages of documents.

Its conclusion: “Operation Fast and Furious was the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office. Far from a strategy that was ‘directed and planned by the highest levels of the Department of Justice,’ as some have alleged, the committee has obtained no evidence that Operation Fast and Furious was conceived or directed by high-level political appointees at Department of Justice headquarters.”

Additionally,

From Newsday – Democrats looking into Operation Fast and Furious say a yearlong investigation has turned up no evidence that the flawed gun smuggling probe was conceived or directed by high-level political appointees at Justice Department headquarters.

The probe, the Democrats say, was just one of four such operations that were part of a misguided five-year-long effort, during both the administrations.

Meanwhile, Darrel Issa, chair of the committee, is righteously incensed at the way the administration has lied, obfuscated, and withheld crucial information – pure contempt of Congress.

William Lajeunesse at Fox News writes: The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is threatening to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress if he fails to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents.

Holder has until Feb. 9 to comply.

In a four-page letter to Holder, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., claims the Department of Justice has “misrepresented facts and misled Congress,” which began its investigation of Operation Fast and Furious one year ago.

Holder must be forced out of his office for contempt and other crimes, gross insubordination, ineptitude, obstruction of justice, perjury, and dereliction of duty. He should be accompanied by his hand-picked staff, and each should be tied to his perp-walk right out the front door of the Department of Justice and into the lock-up.

_____________________________

Report Unloads on ATF for Mexican ‘Gunwalking’

By Robert Beckhusen

Wired Danger Room

Days before Attorney General Eric Holder is once again hauled before Congress to testify for Operation Fast and Furious, a new report sheds light on whether high-ranking officials knew, or have been honest about, one of the biggest failures in Justice Department history: a disastrous plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to allow gunrunners to “walk” firearms into the hands of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.

These questions are crucial because Fast and Furious has not only become a huge political issue, it also determines who will take responsibility for allowing thousands of guns to move unimpeded into a war zone south of the U.S.-Mexico border. The gunwalking operation — an attempt to build cases by not stopping but monitoring the flow of U.S. straw-purchased weapons to Mexico’s cartels — eventually saw the ATF lose track of more than 2,000 gunsmany in the hands of cartel hitmen.

Hundreds of weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico were later traced to Fast and Furious, including AK-47 variant rifles discovered at the scene of a Dec. 14, 2010, shootout between border bandits and a Border Patrol BORTAC tactical unit in Arizona. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in the fight.

But Fast and Furious wasn’t the first operation to run guns. The report, released by House Democrats, describes the plot as “the latest in a series of fatally flawed operations run by ATF agents in Phoenix and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office,” beginning with the 2006-2007′s Operation Wide Receiver. In the beginning, Phoenix-based ATF agents “went forward with plans to observe or facilitate hundreds of suspected straw firearm purchases,” according to the report. Faced with the risk of losing track of the guns, Wide Receiver was shuttered.

In two cases, named the “The Hernandez Case” and “The Medrano Case,” the ATF watched groups of conspirators cross into Mexico carrying straw-purchased guns. In “Medrano,” smugglers snuck more than 100 firearms into Mexico while under observation by the ATF.

Fast and Furious was much bigger, with greater potential rewards — and risks — for field agents, involving “a sizable network the operation of straw puchasers [the ATF] believed were trafficking military-grade assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels.” But then the operation went badly wrong. Guns disappeared, or appeared after gunfights with the Mexican military or in stash houses. Then agent Terry was shot.

Questions, however, linger over the role of senior administration officials — a sticking point for House Republicans. Late Friday, the Justice Department released e-mails between an aide to Attorney General Eric Holder and Dennis Burke, the former United States Attorney for the District of Arizona (who later resigned over the scandal), discussing Terry’s death the next morning. Two messages from headquarters (the location was redacted in the release) informed Burke of the shooting. The second e-mail, at 3:31 a.m. contained one line: “Our agent has passed away.”

“Horrible,” Burke replied at 9:09 a.m. that morning. Thirty-two minutes later, Burke e-mailed Holder aide Monty Wilkinson. “Not good,” Burke said.

“Tragic,” Wilkinson wrote back. “I’ve alerted the AG, the Acting [Deputy Attorney General], Lisa, etc.” That evening, Wilkinson sent Burke another message: “The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about — they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.”

But according to the Democrats’ report, Wilkinson never followed up with Holder about the link, nor did he discuss it again with Burke — which doesn’t, on its face, contradict Holder’s previous testimony that he’d only heard of the operation after the scandal became public.

“The Committee has obtained no evidence indicating that the Attorney General authorized gunwalking or that he was aware of such allegations before they became public,” said the report. “None of the 22 witnesses interviewed by the Committee claims to have spoken with the Attorney General about the specific tactics employed in Operation Fast and Furious prior to the public controversy.”

The same was not true for then-Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who was reassigned after lying to investigators over whether he knew about the operation (he received regular briefings, in fact, the report says). Questions also linger for then-Deputy Director William Hoover, also sacked, and why he “failed to inform” senior Justice Department officials about his concerns with the operation.

But did Holder’s aide, Wilkinson, really ever tell Holder? As of today’s report, that’s just speculation. However, expect Holder to get grilled on this subject very soon.

Issa letter to Holder – "lack of trustworthiness"

Editorial Note– Released on Sunday, a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, drafted by Representative Darrel Issa, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveals something many of us have been reporting, that Holder is and was lying to Congress. The Congressman used very strong language, but we at SUA believe he was going easy on the Attorney General. If you lied to Congress, under oath, you’d already be wearing metal bracelets.

Chairman Darrel Issa - Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Read the letter by clicking on the link below:

Letter to Eric Holder from Darrel Issa

The final paragraph of the letter sums it all up very well:

Mr. Attorney General, you have made numerous statements about Fast and Furious that have eventually been proven to be untrue. Your lack of trustworthiness while speaking about Fast and Furious has called into question your overall credibility as Attorney General. The time for deflecting blame and obstructing our investigation is over. The time has come for you to come clean with the American public about what you knew about Fast and Furious, when you knew it, and who is going to be held accountable for failing to shut down a program that has already had deadly consequences, and will likely cause more casualties for years to come.

Amnesia or Perjury? – Holder’s Dubious History

Editor’s Note – Daily now, the news begs the question: Why is Holder still in office? Had previous Attorneys General performed, or failed to perform, with half the questionable history and background as has Holder, the entire media machine would have already filmed the perp-walk as they resigned from office in disgrace!

By Andrew C. McCarthy

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE

The AG’s Fast & Furious amnesia is reminiscent of his Marc Rich amnesia.

Eric Holder testifying before Congress about Fast & Furious

House Republicans are now calling for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself in congressional testimony about the scandalous Fast & Furious program. Specifically, the attorney general claimed on May 3 that he had only “over the last few weeks” heard about the reckless gun-walking program his Justice Department was running with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) — a program in which guns were steered to violent Mexican gangs with predictably lethal results, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent. Contrary to Holder’s testimony, it is now being reported that he had actually been receiving briefings on the program since early summer 2010.

I’m shocked, shocked to hear it.

In truth, I’d be very surprised if it turned out that Mr. Holder was as much in the dark as he claims. Fast & Furious was a very strange and controversial program, and there was plenty of Justice Department participation in it: ATF is a Justice Department agency; the investigation was being conducted jointly with a U.S. attorney’s office (i.e., a DOJ district office); the investigation featured eavesdropping applications, which have to go through the Justice Department; and White House officials were apparently being briefed about the program. It would be odd indeed if the AG were out of the loop. To be clear, though, I have no idea who knew what, and when. We’ll just have to see how that plays out.

For the moment, my point is simply this: No one ought to be surprised by what is happening. Readers may recall my vigorous contentions that Mr. Holder’s history should disqualify him from serving as attorney general. Here are some links:

President Obama should not have nominated him, and I urged that the Senate not confirm him. Beltway Republicans, however, rallied to Holder’s defense, and Senate Republicans dutifully joined their Democratic counterparts in overwhelmingly approving his appointment.

One of the many arguments I made was based on Holder’s record of providing misleading congressional testimony.

When he served as Clinton-administration deputy attorney general, Holder engineered the scandalous Marc Rich pardon by creating a rogue procedure that allowed the fugitive fraudster and his attorneys to appeal directly to President Clinton rather than go through DOJ’s regular pardon process. The regular process would have required input from the U.S. attorney’s office handling Rich’s case — the Southern District of New York, where I worked for many years (including when the pardon was granted). That input would have doomed the pardon by making Clinton undeniably aware of the nature and dimension of Rich’s criminal conduct.

By keeping the prosecutors who knew about Rich’s case out of the process, Holder ensured that Clinton was one-sidedly exposed to the Rich camp’s version of events. This greatly benefited Rich’s legal team, which was led by former Clinton White House Counsel Jack Quinn, a close confidant of Vice President Al Gore. When he was helping Rich in 1999 and 2000, Holder was hoping to be made attorney general in what Democrats were confident would be a Gore administration.

I don’t want to rehash all the unsavory details; I just want to focus on the following: When Clinton’s pardon of Rich blew up, Congress held hearings. Despite the fact that he had interceded on Rich’s (and Quinn’s) behalf even before the pardon shenanigans, Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2001, under oath, that “Mr. Rich’s name was unfamiliar to me” in 1999, when Quinn first beseeched Holder to help Quinn try to convince SDNY prosecutors to drop the charges. Holder elaborated that he had “gained only a passing familiarity with the underlying facts of the Rich case” when, in the ensuing months, he helped push for the pardon. He claimed that he had been too busy to inform himself about the case of the criminal for whom he was lobbying — a man who had been on the FBI’s top-ten list of wanted fugitives.

Based largely on Holder’s rambling and often incredible testimony, which stressed his purported ignorance of Rich’s background, a House investigation concluded that the “sum total” of Holder’s  “knowledge about Rich came from a page of talking points provided to him by Jack Quinn in 2000.” The House Government Operations Committee concluded that Holder’s behavior in the Rich affair had been “unconscionable,” but it took no further action.

Eight years later, when President Obama nominated him to be attorney general, Holder clung to his protestations of ignorance. At the nomination hearing, Arlen Specter, then the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pointedly asked, “Were you aware of the kind of record this man [Rich] had?”

Here’s Holder’s response:

No I was not. And that was one of the mistakes that I made. I did not really acquaint myself with his record. I knew that the matter involved — it was a tax-fraud case; it was a substantial tax-fraud case. I knew that he was a fugitive. I did not know a lot of the underlying facts that you have described.

In written follow-up questions, Specter pressed again: “Did you receive information about the facts of the Rich case from anyone other than Mr. Rich’s attorney, Jack Quinn?”

Holder tersely responded, “No.”

Yet, as I pointed out in the days before Holder’s confirmation, none of this appears to have been true. It is a virtual certainty that Holder knew quite a bit about Rich, years before he was approached to assist the Rich pardon effort.
Before becoming deputy attorney general, Holder was the Clinton-appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1995 — years before Holder got his talking points from Quinn — Holder’s office filed a civil suit against a Swiss trading company called Clarendon, Ltd. Why? Because, in obtaining $45 million in government contracts, Clarendon had concealed its intimate relationship with the dastardly, notorious federal fugitive . . . Marc Rich.

It turned out that Holder’s office had been conducting an investigation into Rich and his business interests for tax evasion and other suspicious activity. Not surprisingly, then, the civil complaint U.S. attorney Holder filed against Clarendon exuded familiarity with Rich. Indeed, the premise of the complaint was that Rich’s sordid history of fraud and his status as a fugitive from justice rendered him ineligible for government contracts. Therefore, the suit alleged, Clarendon was liable for hiding the fact that Rich controlled the company.

The complaint screams out knowledge of Rich’s corporate holdings and his tortuous efforts to obscure his connection to the company. Holder’s office also recounted that Rich had blatantly obstructed justice in a grand-jury investigation. One of his companies ended up paying $21 million in contempt fines, the complaint reported. And although a number of Rich companies ended up pleading guilty to various charges, Holder’s office took pains to point out that their “plea agreement did not resolve any of the personal charges pertaining to Rich” and his accomplice, Pincus Green. Those charges, the complaint asserted, “remained outstanding.”

And the matter doesn’t stop at the complaint. Holder’s office held extensive negotiations with Clarendon and, as it happens, Clarendon’s principal. Astoundingly, Holder’s office not only had discussions with company attorneys but actually accepted an affidavit from Rich — then one of the country’s most infamous fugitives — in the course of settling the case.

Ultimately, U.S Attorney Holder agreed to dismiss the case in exchange for a payment to the government of $1.2 million. Naturally, though, it was not enough just to reach a settlement. Justice Department officials like to trumpet the conclusion of their high-profile cases as successes, and D.C.’s United States attorney was no exception. On April 13, 1995, the Wall Street Journal reported Holder’s public announcement of the settlement and of the fact that his office was ending its probe of the Rich conglomerate.

To summarize, at the pardon hearings in 2001, Eric Holder testified before Congress that he had barely known who Marc Rich was when he went to bat for Rich in 1999 and 2000. At his confirmation hearing in 2009, Holder repeated this testimony that errors in judgment had stemmed from his failure to acquaint himself with Rich’s sordid record. In point of fact, however, Holder had actually overseen an investigation of Rich and his companies years earlier, precisely premised on the fact that a Rich company had hidden its connection to the fugitive and his extensive record of fraud and obstruction. Holder had even publicly announced a lucrative settlement.

Sound familiar?

None of this is new news. While the Senate was considering Holder’s nomination, I laid the facts out in an NRO column on January 21, 2009. Four days later, I reported that Holder had again claimed ignorance about Rich in his written answers to follow-up questions. I pleaded that he be further pressed on the matter — not only by Republicans but by Democrats who, during the tenure of Bush AG Alberto Gonzales, had been strident in emphasizing the obligation of attorneys general to provide Congress with truthful, accurate testimony.

Alas, Senate Republicans were apparently mollified by private assurances Holder reportedly made to them to the effect that, if he were confirmed, the Justice Department would not seek to prosecute officials involved in the Bush-era enhanced-interrogation program. (I’m constrained to observe that, in the event, Holder reopened investigations against CIA officers involved in the program and continued professional-responsibility probes of Bush DOJ officials who had provided opinions about the program’s legal validity.) Cowed by the prospect of opposing confirmation of the nation’s first African-American attorney general — as if there were anything wrong with rejecting a nominee of any heritage who had a record as checkered as Holder’s — the senators decided Holder’s troubling testimony was not worth pursuing. He was confirmed 75 to 21, with substantial GOP support.

You reap what you sow.

Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Oversight Committee seeks Special Counsel to Probe Holder on 'Fast and Furious'

Editor’s Note – It is clear, to any reasonable person, that the fiasco called ‘Gun Walker’, or more famously, ‘Fast and Furious” is proving what so many already know, Eric Holder is unfit for the office he holds. The cover up, the lies, the chicanery, all surpass anything the Nixon Administration did in the ‘Watergate Scandal’. The big difference is, people died as a result, uniformed officers died.

The question is no longer: “What did you know and when did you know it?”, more precisely, the question now is: “Why did you lie to Congress, and why haven’t you been forced to resign?”

Fox News Exclusive

House Republicans are calling for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General 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.

Eric Holder - Perjury?

“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.

In response to the release of the memos, a Justice Department official said that the attorney general “has consistently said he became aware of the questionable tactics in early 2011 when ATF agents first raised them publicly, and then promptly asked the (inspector general) to investigate the matter.”

The official added that in March 2011, Holder testified to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of that development, and regularly receives hundreds of pages, none of which contained information on potential problems with Fast and Furious.

“The weekly reports (100 + pages) are provided to the office of the AG and (deputy attorney general) each week from approximately 24 offices and components. These are routine reports that provide general overviews and status updates on issues, policies, cases and investigations from offices and components across the country. None of these reports referenced the controversial tactics of that allowed guns to cross the border,” the official said.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., “of all people, should be familiar with the difference between knowing about an investigation and being aware of questionable tactics employed in that investigation since documents provided to his committee show he was given a briefing that included the fast and furious operation in 2010 – a year before the controversy emerged,” the official continued.

Issa told Fox News on Tuesday morning that Holder saying he didn’t understand the question rather than he didn’t know of the program is not a successful defense to perjury.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, adde that months before Holder testified — on Jan. 31 — he came to Grassley’s office, where Grassley gave him a letter detailing the investigation of Fast and Furious.

“If he read my letter, he knew on January 31,” Grassley told Fox News. “He probably actually knew about it way back in the middle of last year or earlier.

Grassley said since he’s not a lawyer he’s not going to make a judgment on whether Holder committed perjury.

“But I can tell you this. They’re doing everything they can, in a fast and furious way, to cover up all the evidence or stonewalling us. But here’s the issue, if he didn’t perjure himself and didn’t know about it, the best way that they can help us, Congressman Issa and me, is to just issue all the documents that we ask for and those documents will prove one way or the other right or wrong.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/04/house-republicans-to-request-special-counsel-to-probe-holder-on-fast-and/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#ixzz1Zq1m9fte