Holder facing contempt of Congress vote over Fast & Furious
Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Meehan reacts
- Duration 6:48
- Date Jun 23, 2012
Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Meehan reacts
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Say mister chairman.
I am offended.
By your calling.
The attorney general a liar unfortunately over the course of these.
He arranged and this investigation that that focus that seriousness of purpose.
Regarding the loss of agent Terry has has been lost.
That's we promised to them to find out how it happened which we've done in that we promised -- reform which we're not doing.
Well Democrats on the house oversight committee arguing this week -- a possible US house vote citing attorney general Eric Holder for contempt of congress.
Is out of line but Republicans defending the -- say the goal is to uncover the truth about the now highly controversial.
Fast and furious gun running stay.
This contempt vote has inflamed the debate on both sides and now the President Obama has asserted executive privilege over some of the documents in question.
Many are wondering what's next for joining us now one -- -- congressman that was.
This week's hearing Republican Patrick Meehan welcome congressman great to have you here today.
-- -- -- You know up.
Eric Holder says -- offer still stands that he's willing to hand over some of the documents sought by.
House Republicans if they're willing to drop the contempt vote by the full house set for next week.
Any wiggle room here for some kind of compromise or how the president's executive privilege order eroded any move to stop this but.
While I hope the executive privilege.
Challenge doesn't create at a roadblock to some kind of meaningful negotiation but in fact you have to have a meaningful negotiation.
Book is part of the Justice Department.
Having it -- in in these kinds of negotiations.
The Justice Department itself would not accept that kind of a representation.
From -- it says look I'm going to determine what the documents are I'm gonna give you selectively some of those documents and and you.
Make a representation to me ahead of time.
That you will cease this investigation.
So that what they're asking for in my mind just isn't practical you would generally create some kind of a privilege log.
Now there has been a representation that there's as many as 80000.
Response of documents.
And yet only about 677600.
Have been turned over so -- one who gets to choose what is relevant.
And I think this is a large part of that offer is that it's in many ways.
A pretty narrow offer and and some suggest not even.
A real one.
Well -- the White House spokesman Jay Carney is calling the Republican led investigation a politically motivated taxpayer funded.
Election year fishing -- those are his words what's your response to that.
I think that's what you do as you start to attack the investigation.
And you rely on the fact that you try to make it political.
I'm a prosecutor by by.
Profession and it trying to look at this thing just passionately.
But by virtue of that experience I know that kind of information that is shared within the Justice Department.
We have whistle blowers and the fact of the matter is they brought documents which include the -- -- probable cause.
Which are part of the wiretap applications.
At the highest level the Justice Department they're making representations to the court.
Regarding certain facts and those facts are brought to the attention.
These allegations are brought to the attention at the highest level the Justice Department so we know information that's been before them.
And in my mind it's a very.
A direct connection and -- now the question is who knew what and what that they do once they were confronted with that information.
To -- the frustration is not just stonewalling.
But the evidence as well that there has been intimidation.
By the justice department of some of those people who were whistle blowers are you -- that there's a big cover up that's going on out there are now.
Well I don't I don't want to make any kind of calculated.
Assessment at this point in time again you go on the facts but what were.
What when we see the facts would begin to see them as they dripped out we've gotten access to certain documents at the hearing the other day I pointed to the fact that the very prosecutor that they sent from Washington downed Arizona.
Send back an email which we have -- which she identified the fact that you -- guns had been walked 300 to 500 -- who got that will we know what went to.
The head of the criminal division.
Gang unit now -- who -- gang unit -- talk to with that very specific.
Very clear unambiguously information so we're getting denials that the Justice Department knew anything about -- walking.
And yet limited facts that we do have directly contravene so.
These are just logical questions -- prosecutor investigator would ask and the fact of the matter is you can't let the Justice Department be beyond accountability.
Let me ask you this though and I wanted to for our viewers we did reach out to democratic members of the committee who declined -- invitation to appear on this program.
Isn't it true even if you get the full house to vote to a contempt.
Hold attorney general Eric Holder in contempt -- -- decision to prosecute.
Will be left to of the Justice Department in the end and -- -- they have the Justice Department Eric Holder so do you really expect to see.
Any of these documents if you're really trying to go after and sparse prosecuting the situation.
Well that would be a decision to prosecuted criminally.
And that decision would be made by the Justice Department.
The United States attorney but it was be very likely he would be and he would be instructed not to bring a criminal charge.
But there is a separate and probably the more effective place we ought to be.
Which would be an ability to ask for a court to come in in a civil resolution in which the demand would be that the court compel.
The Justice Department to bring the documents before them and make that case.
I as to why they believe their privileged.
And why congress ought not to have access to them so I suspect that what you will see is a civil resolution.
But you're probably gonna see this -- slow walk that'll take a long period of time to get through -- all and I think part of the objective here.
As for the Justice Department the -- political.
To have -- all handled sort of a political aspect and -- it -- he'll in the campaign season.
I don't wanna see campaigns be part of this and I don't see politics be part of it to.
I understand congressman.
We really do appreciate you joining us today and sharing your insights with us and us of course we're going to be monitoring the developments very closely and waiting to see if that vote actually takes place next week.
Thank you so much for joining you -- -- --