Eric Holder facing full House contempt vote
Rep. Steve King reacts
- Duration 7:42
- Date Jun 20, 2012
Rep. Steve King reacts
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They're still flying.
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The time in the houses get remember.
That was -- chairman of the house oversight committee congressman Darrell ice just moments after his committee voted to recommend that attorney general Eric Holder be held in contempt of congress.
Now heroes play what it means what happens next is Iowa congressman Steve King congressman great to see if they -- -- -- Good to be back on John thank you let's start with a simple question what happens next year don't they have to go through what is known as a privilege log -- identify on each item.
-- you are justifying not handing this over to congress.
Well I would say that set up -- they have they have gone through these motions now all the way through -- oversight committee.
Problem -- the privilege component of that is is looking back and some historical.
Pieces of this.
But I believe now what this means is that it -- all of this data is provided.
And that could actually probably be at the eleventh hour and some negotiations made with the speaker I think this comes to the floor of the house -- representatives.
For a vote on holding Eric Holder our attorney general in contempt of congress.
That start some things in motion and I guarantee you the White House doesn't want to see.
Okay but the attorney general is not gonna enforce the law against themselves.
So the question then becomes for you guys in the house you do have the authority.
After speaking with many constitutional scholars today you do have the authority to enforce this resolution.
And that would mean to bring it to the to the civil court and that would be you know get to get a decision out of the courts in that the next step for you -- -- Well there's that in that case -- -- looking at that.
That track of legal logic to take it to the civil court.
And now -- but also there's a there's some live reasonable leaves the legal analysis that says that it goes in the US attorney here in the DC circuit would convene a grand jury.
Yeah -- needed if that turns out to be the case second meeting a grand jury.
Vannatter that starts that an indictment process and that's something that's going to be awfully hard for and Eric Holder or the president.
To resist and this assertion of executive privilege I think as it is a crescendo announcement of the day.
As as I looked at I just had this flash back.
That it was forty years ago this week.
But that Watergate break in took place now wasn't executive privilege date but the but President Nixon asserted executive privilege then.
The president has mirrored that now that means that about implies very strongly if it doesn't bring a conclusion -- us out here.
That this information that -- that it had their allies say is that there is searching for and trying to subpoena links inside the White House itself most likely.
That information was prepared for the president's eyes and perhaps it was seen by the president.
OK but look forward before we make that leap I wanna I wanna make sure everybody understands fully the copper lead the the process.
That you and congress will go through so what you gonna do is you're gonna bring a civil suit to a federal district court.
And from that point you get to it to enforce this content you're gonna ask the court.
To have the Justice Department list all documents what they call late a privilege log.
Which will require them to go through each documents and explain.
How executive privilege -- so we're talking about thirteen hundred documents out of what -- 140000.
They want to explain each and every one Howell executive privilege applies correct.
Well yes it is Sean and I -- past that because there are -- just say oh that and I I've conclude that.
That's not going to be a defensible position on the part of the White House.
That it's outside the purview of the oversight of the United States congress that would imply they're national security is at stake and there's some.
Very very delicate issue of national security I don't think so.
I think they cannot succeed in that assertion.
And so I would lead to -- -- I think -- at that point the grand jury is convened -- is going to head for the most likely come back with an indictment of Eric Holder.
You insist -- is that this is fast -- so you really do believe this will be an indictment what would the indictment be -- what we know for example that he made statements to the committee.
That seven months later he said books I got -- wrong he made a statement last week and came back this week books that was wrong.
And we know that in US vs -- and that you cannot -- exert executive privilege.
To cover up wrongdoing of any kind so that -- has been very well set.
You that you are you saying what are you saying the charge would be -- congressman.
Well other than contempt of congress and is admired my legal advisors in house advise me that.
That has a potential charge that Eric Holder would be facing that -- unlikely to go that far but could potentially be -- you know one year in jail so he.
That's that's a statute that our people are looking at right now I don't think they'll let it go that far.
We wouldn't they also do you mean we just had a trial Roger Clemens in lying to congress was the heart of all six allegations and perjury -- ever.
And so those are very serious charges that -- -- -- -- about here.
Well I mean what is it that possibly if we look at the three things that that a president can use -- three reasons.
One is for the military or diplomatic or sensitive national security matters I believe -- the right of executive privilege.
For the for president believes there are issues involving national security.
The question here is what could possibly.
You know of the criteria that is Bennett is established.
You know reason can they -- here on this stuff in this case -- we've been explaining all night can you think of one.
You know Ali I can think of is is is there's some connection of national security that so volatile.
That the president would take this extraordinary step in the clear that this executive privilege -- that -- that would be national security or foreign relations so.
Would that imply that -- that there's the relations with Mexico certainly would be a direct component of that.
I I don't even -- -- -- what I imagine could be two to go to that depth.
I don't think they can -- such a thing and I think if I would say what I can what I from what -- my imagination tells me.
It would be too volatile email -- on television.
Because they did this problem so last minute but -- usually if you invoked through executive privilege you do so very early on and this went on for a -- eighteen months and has been this back and forth.
And this game.
But in it wouldn't it be usual to do this at the very beginning of an investigation.
If they had such a case I would think so I think this is a desperate move and I think that they believe that they could -- -- ice.
And because generalize that didn't blink in that meeting that they had that short meeting that they had they had to play another card because he went one can conclude this.
There was knowledge of fast and furious either before or as it was being implemented.
Or knowledge of the cover up after the fact and it's most likely goes inside the White House and that documents and -- -- is asking for.
I believe we're prepared for the president size whether he saw that or not I don't know I believe they were prepared for the president's -- and that's why there is asserting executive privilege.
There are otherwise they would have pushed -- pushed Eric Holder under the bus and in order to protect the White House.
That means the president in that interview when he said he had no knowledge of it until we -- on the news that that would have been an inaccurate statement and similarly.
The testimony before congress by the attorney general would have been.
-- I agree with that rationale and then having watched Watergate unfold I will say that we will find out the whole truth to this.
This really launch some things in motion today.
And I think that I think the house will will vote on the full motion for contempt -- congress and once that happens you know the barrels over the waterfall.
We'll see what happens in the wreckage afterwards.
Brian thank you congressman appreciate it thanks for being what.