GOP starts work on resolution to Eric Holder in contempt
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz explains
- Duration 6:23
- Date Jun 27, 2012
Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz explains
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Again we were just alerted that -- the Republicans have begun work on that resolution to find the attorney general in contempt.
Republican congressman Jason Jason shape it's -- you ties a key member of the house oversight committee.
He is headed to that meeting in a moment that agreed to speak with us first congressman welcome back to the program is this vote tomorrow gonna happen.
I think it is I with a speaker I dressed all house Republicans and -- unfortunately.
That meeting yesterday produced nothing and we're left with no choice but to move forward.
The White House was mum about whether there a last minute negotiations between the White House and house Republicans what can you tell us.
I don't think parity is is pretty simple they need to provide the documents the congress are duly issued subpoena.
We deserve the voluntary family deserves the American people deserve to know the truth there a 140000.
Documents pertaining to -- -- -- The White House is offered up a couple of hundred and yesterday when they offered a representative sample of what they believe is -- fair compilation.
It amounted to less than thirty pieces of paper but even within that.
It showed that there -- emails going directly to -- -- went.
Number he said he didn't have anything to do with that it also -- that Jason Weinstein -- deputy attorney generals had gone down to Phoenix actually months after the death of Brian Terry and gave a glowing report saying that -- people the ATF agents were doing wonderful things down.
And one of the deep concerns we have Megan is that there is a concerted effort and obstruction of congress which is a crime.
That may have been happening there within the department of justice and thus the reluctance to share those documents without.
Okay a lot of that answer yet that would that with respect to showing communications with the attorney general.
Yeah that is not surprising if they came after February 2011.
Abide by that point the attorney general was -- and so that that's and they all have any document that you saw showing the attorney general linked to.
The birth of fast and furious or the the intricate details of it Pryor to Brian Terry's death yet deal.
We think we've seen a number of documents that point in that direction but until we get all the documents we definitively do not know that's -- this is about we're not trying to prosecute.
The whole operation of fast and -- what we're worried about is the February 4 letter which is alive -- -- to -- -- 1010 months later.
But -- -- cycling -- I didn't do it we're never allowed to walk and that turned out to be not a case of course that was a resident -- by the DOJ to -- to your colleague Chuck Grassley in the senate.
And they had to withdraw that -- months leader after the Republican state on them doggedly finally became mounds that are right it wasn't true but they say congressman.
That that was out that they were mistaken this is what they write they say that they -- given you this is just the statement today.
That they had given -- documents -- recently as yesterday that shell how the department responded to congress' inquiry.
And dispelling any notion of an intention to conceal or -- intention to provide misleading information to congress they believe.
It was a good faith mistake they rectified it that should be the end of the matter.
Now there there's a serious concern -- prevailing theory that there was an obstruction of congress we get that from the whistle blowers.
We get that -- -- from the drug the gun dealers that were down there participating at the request of the ATF believe that's the serious allegation that is moving forward here.
Let's also keep in mind Megan.
The national Border Patrol council this is the AFL CIO oriented unions this is 171000.
Border Patrol agents people on the front line.
They came out and said if Eric Holder were to be a Border Patrol agent he would be fired he'd be unfit for service so even the front line guys the union guys.
Working down there see this as just a total obstruction of what would.
Ultimately lead us hopefully to the truth.
We are now hearing that there may be as many as 21 Democrats who -- prepared to cross the I'll.
And vote in favor.
I'm holding the attorney general.
In contempt one of those Jim Matheson of Utah Democrat came out and said sadly it seems that it will take holding the attorney generally content to communicate.
It is a vote I will support.
What are your numbers looking like right now in terms of the number overall who will support this and the number -- crossed party lines.
I don't quite know but I do know that there are 31 brave Democrats in June of last year who sent a letter to the department of justice and the White House saying.
You're not being -- here and really make it.
Nothing's changed over the years so if you sign that letter.
More than a year ago when you look at where we are today nothing's changed that's the same which -- that this did that it should have been done a year ago but we can put this to -- right now we don't need to go through this.
If just provide the documents they say there's nothing in there to hide -- there's nothing Aaron hide provide the documents it's that simple.
I was and they have maintained it deliberative privilege and they say.
And just our viewers now there's executive privilege at present the protects the president and his communications but then there's another faction -- -- that protects.
Agency communications including in -- agency DOJ communications President Bush.
President Obama has asserted that and courts have recognized separately doesn't have to involve the president to be -- which potentially.
To preserve the ability for people to speak openly those who advised the president like mr.
-- deputies now that -- exists.
Do you they they say that's why you're not getting these documents because of that privilege in the need to protect documents like that.
Why do you say that privilege has no application here.
Well what they're gonna have to do remember tomorrow there's actually be two votes one is the contempt the other is allows -- in a civil court to move forward.
If the US attorney decides not pressing -- -- actually have two votes tomorrow allowing us to move on and if they had if we have to go through that civil route that they'll have to document.
Document by document.
Why they think executive privilege is necessary and -- -- 140000 documents so it's going to be quite likely to go through that process but remember before last week.
The White House said they were never involved in all of this president was of course I have to -- There are other documents that we have had as whistle blowers and others that we know are out there that they still haven't provided to us and we don't believe are protected by executive privilege.
Do you think by this time tomorrow we will have an affirmative.
Vote in the house to hold the attorney general of the United States in criminal contempt.
It'll be more about except probably 5 o'clock or so eastern is that is my guess best guess but we're marching down that path we're left with -- -- alternatives unfortunately.
Congressman Jason -- it's thank you so much -- we appreciate you coming I don't.