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Parks flying a very heated hearing and a vote one that went straight on the party line house panel -- -- contempt resolution for attorney general holder.
Our purpose has never been to hold the attorney general in contempt.
Our purpose has always been to get the information the committee needs to complete its work that it is not only entitled to but obligated to do.
I am horrified.
That you are going forward with this contempt charge.
When the president of the United States.
His and the administration.
Have -- -- invoked executive privilege.
For the documents.
Sought by the chairman this is a mistake a major mistake and -- really want to know that I think that.
This should be.
Why would the president claim executive privilege unless it was something very very important that he felt should not be made known to this committee.
And possibly to the public I hope we have the guts and the perseverance to get to the bottom of this.
We have to -- nearly 2000 weapons purposely purposely given the drug cartels we have hundreds of dead people in Mexico.
We have a dead United States Border Patrol agent.
And we have a government that's withholding information so that we can only get to the bottom of but the we can fix it and make sure that -- never ever happens again.
I am frightened to think.
What would be going on today.
Agent Brian Terry not being murdered.
Would we even know about fast and furious or wide receiver.
This is a sad day.
But it is a necessary day the notion that you could -- -- information and documents from congress no matter whether you're the party in power or not -- is Rawle.
So I say -- there ice Joseph I just I see -- Well thanks for having me on it thanks for covering this important hearing today well -- of -- lot of happened today in fact of the big news today of course was the president discerning the executive privilege.
This an eighteen month long investigation when you first hear that he was going to learn get wind of the fact this could assert this.
But 9:15 this morning with a -- a -- -- mark up we received an eight page report.
Theoretically that eight pages was entirely done after we had a meeting that -- went -- about 6 o'clock the previous evening.
In which attorney general holder offered only to brief us.
On remaining information and then give us documents supporting that if we canceled our investigation or specifically.
Considered all subpoenas as -- All right now you mean -- and number of documents he was offering thirteen hundred pages.
He described as thirteen hundred pages and and -- -- to some of those pages we never asked for.
But he thought we should have them I'd so you it's so you are even necessarily -- in the pages that you want it.
If that may be to treat general was it's if it's -- -- not available industry generally do is an answer your subpoena.
I out if in the thirteen hundred pages though those aren't even necessarily the pages that you had specifically asked for those of -- he thought -- should have and weren't really an answer to the subpoena right.
Well exactly we were asked for we don't take a pig in the poke who we were asked to take.
Some assertion that these documents would be meaningful without seeing them without looking at them and without a -- -- anything they weren't giving us.
I think they knew we couldn't accept that Brian Terry's family couldn't accepted.
The American people couldn't accept it.
What's theory as to why the president invoked executive privilege and why now because there's this been going on for a long time.
But you're exactly right this is an eleventh hour stunned potentially.
But taking that it's serious he seriously trying to create an executive privilege -- -- -- doesn't exist or has been loosely held meaning most of these documents clue that we've asked for clearly are within that are the trip the Justice Department they're not between the president so his his assertion is about.
For example the ATF director sending an email that we've asked for in which he says hey we gotta stop this gun walking I've read the wiretaps this is terrible.
We have a sworn statement by a bipartisan statement.
By the former ATF director that he sent it but he has never copy of it.
That wasn't directed to the president and yet they're asserting executive privilege as to -- that.
I don't understand this and and you have talked many times about this and we would kind of want to but seems to me the questions are quite simple who authorized.
Fast and furious it never got your rest and America and the -- we've all we've asked and we have not gotten -- says a pretty simple one.
I would think this summer did authorize it the second one -- one I don't want to -- who is the highest person in government that was aware of fast and furious.
Well that's an area where when we read the wiretaps we think it goes to Jason Weinstein.
To granular and two Lanny brewer at a minimum.
Our democratic colleagues when they read it say well they didn't read these documents so even though they were responsible for them we don't see how you can feel that they knew about -- Do you have any reasonably at the White House was aware mother lastly in an email works -- was aware of fast and -- while it was still an active operation.
And secondly where you are aware of any was a suspicion with the White House was aware of the effort to sort of make this a very long and -- -- investigation so far.
Well the first part of your question we've never thought that this was something directed from the White House when we thought it was and is.
Strategy done at a local level for weeks the close -- -- this this team that comprised of many agencies.
Got its authorization and money through justice with authorization all the way to to Washington there's no logical reason that before Brian Terry was killed.
That this would have come to the attention the president.
But clearly were questioning whether afterwards during this cover up the false statement made on February 4 of last year and the months before they finally admitted that they had.
-- -- truthful to congress.
We do question whether or not there was communication with people including the White House.
I -- of the around the -- just issued a statement tonight about almost 5 o'clock tonight with Thomas says in part.
He says simply put any claims that the Justice Department has been -- responsive to requests for information are untrue.
From the -- Guinea chairman ice and certain members of the committee have made -- unsubstantiated.
Then scrambled for -- to try to justify -- later that might make for good political theater but does little to uncover the truth address the problems associated with this operation and part one -- back to previous administration.
Well you know he's always wanted to target of previous administration and -- different failed program we've never tried due to pretend that it wasn't a different failed program.
And -- were not happy with the Bush Administration activities either but in the case of fast and furious where Brian -- guns came from.
We first became aware of this win a whistle -- went to senator Grassley.
Senator Grassley asked questions and was told he wouldn't get answers we asked questions and we got denials and actual false letter in false testimony.
So yes they were times in which we.
-- whistle blowers who said certain things and all we had was a whistle blowers word.
But as documents came in in almost every case the whistle blowers were telling the truth and justice was shading the truth or perhaps not telling the truth.
The -- could the contempt resolution that your committee today it now goes to the floor up for vote right yes have you spoken to speaker -- to find out when that -- be an immunity willing to put on the -- But well before I even left the hearing -- -- Boehner had announced vote would be next week.
I haven't met with the staff because quite frankly I got pretty busy including meeting with my staff so we can prepare for that.
Because we've got a lot of work to do.
As you know when the president asserted in the executive order we prepared and amended our resolution.
So that will be that has been changed but we want to make sure that it's accurate when we go to the floor and if there's any further amendments we we do that.
It seems to that there in -- in asserting executive -- system for one of two reasons one is and a good -- belief -- it's it's important to assert.
That the F facts warranted and that supporters are the sanctity of the executive branch.
The other -- the other option is something more sinister that someone's trying to hide something prevent something from going forward.
Which is in this instance do you think.
I mean there's two prior examples in the Harriet -- case the president President Bush asserted executive privilege as to communications back and forth between his key councils and himself.
I think that was appropriate.
In the case a Republican.
In -- -- Richard Nixon he asserted executive privilege and an anything the president said was legal was legal and so on and of course ultimately everything including.
Correspondents and went back and forth to President Nixon in other words the cover up.
Was held not to be with an executive privilege.
So I think we have one case in which a president did wrong and it was wrong give another case in -- What's the motive here.
Is it is -- because it's legitimate exercise of presidential power and it warrants we have a difference of opinion but it's it's executive privilege.
-- -- cover up and something to obstruct.
Well I can tell you that Eric Holder told me just the last night that and he said it before that many of these documents he was willing to have us.
Obtain if we agreed to settle a case would be very embarrassing but he would do it anyway.
And is one of the areas that concerns us is but we're not looking to embarrass him but.
Just because something's embarrassing doesn't mean it's not -- what does it.
Well look we think the documents are embarrassing we think that there were months of of people saying you gotta quit lying you gotta come forward to truth.
You had attorneys who knew that false testimony and made to congress -- officers of the court.
And they did not come forward to us they lobbied -- justice to come out with the truth ten months later when we came out with the truth.
All that deliberative activity in this case is very appropriate for us to see.
So how is it obstruction are legitimate.
You know that's that's a tough when Greta and I think -- court of public opinion will decide.
And both of our face on that.
We think we did today what we were obligated to do we will continue with our investigation and dozens of other investigations were obligated to do.
And we'd like to see this ended because the resources were using.
-- should be going after waste fraud and abuse if we could bring this to a close.
Both -- -- next week.
-- -- -- this along come away a lot of time any Cashman thank you have a nice to say.