Holder claims he is a 'proxy' for GOP to attack Obama
Debate over politics of Fast and Furious
- Duration 6:32
- Date Jul 3, 2012
Debate over politics of Fast and Furious
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Attorney general Eric Holder blasting his GOP critics after the house voted to hold him in contempt of congress last week.
That for not producing documents related to the failed gun running staying fast and furious.
He says quote -- become a symbol of what they don't like about the positions this Justice Department has taken.
I -- also a proxy for the president in an election year.
You have to be exceedingly nigh eve to think that vote was about documents.
Meanwhile house oversight committee chairman Darrell ice -- disputes holder's claim saying quote.
As often as holder has tried to cast himself and his other controversies of the reason for the investigation he still doesn't acknowledge the simple truth.
The citation for contempt caddie -- name on it because the lawfully issued subpoena for documents issued nine months ago that his department didn't comply with.
Also had his name on it and quote.
Joining us now for a fair and balanced debate former campaign manager for governor Mike Huckabee -- presidential campaign chip Saltzman.
An advisor to Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey Donna genteel O'Donnell welcome to both of you.
Donna do you first -- the attorney general insists that he did everything he could.
To quash this fast and furious program once he found out about it column that it was bad policy it shouldn't have happened.
And that he took care of it if that's the case if he did everything by the book why not just release the document.
Well I think they're probably your number of reasons not to and I'm loath to speculate on what those reasons might -- What what I was so struck by I did watch the proceedings that were -- vice by.
By -- -- up and I was stunned by the tone and tenor of that inquiry.
Chairman -- was repeatedly.
Now a requested by his colleagues on the committee to permit the attorney general to answer the questions.
Turned out to be speeches in which chairman -- -- articulated.
Very high rhetoric and it was highly it anything inflammatory.
And clearly not seeking answers so I think.
I think I would begin with what really was the purpose of those hearings that resulted in this contempt citation.
Well -- chip the Republicans say that it's to get to the bottom of a program that led to the death then.
You know and immigration and customs enforcement agents.
Yes no question this is pretty simple investigation and what did the attorney general -- when did he know it.
And the reason the other one -- let the documents -- because that would tell us when it what did he know and -- did -- know it.
And this is very serious and I think you know it's a little bit.
Kind of gets me frustrated that -- attorney general says he's a proxy for this president for attacks like this president's got plenty of -- he's done one mile zone for us to attack a month.
This is about the attorney general this about the Department of Justice is about you know the politics -- apartment adjustable Portland despite what the attorney.
General didn't know what he knew and when he know it and he's not tell us but chip you worked as we mentioned from Mike Huckabee chief executive of of Arkansas on a presidential candidate himself doesn't.
-- president have a right to exert executive privilege and protect documents from the legislative -- Yet yet there's no question that the president does have the right to do that but this -- particular case -- talk about the life of a border agent we're talking about a program that has gone wrong.
Talking about a program that was true tracking guns those guns tracked back and killed one of our citizens that's wrong in that and then the congress is doing its job investigate.
Exactly what the department justice knew when did the attorney general know it Wendy what he do about it and that would to do that we need to documents documents -- there.
It's pretty simply hands them over -- we figure out the truth -- this case and if it's as the attorney general says that it's okay.
God let me pull -- give that give you this quote from.
The attorney general he says I came to Washington in the late seventies people had the ability in the past.
To have -- intense policy differences but didn't feel the need to question the other person's character.
And that's where we are now in Washington with at least one part of the Republican Party.
That's what they do almost as a matter of course I remember some of the criticism Donna that was hurled at Alberto Gonzales when he was attorney general in the bush White House some of that was very personal and came from the democratic side.
Is the attorney general -- -- too much here.
No actually I was.
And to suggest the latter that the protestations.
Of the chairman and others would be more credible if we -- -- similar protest stations.
By now when President Bush invoked and executive privilege on six different occasions.
And in those instances some of those the citations.
Were very serious I mean we're talking about I'm having the cover of agents involved in Covert operations in other countries blown.
We're talking about secret meetings that were held.
With the former vice president and no one could gather any data.
Protest stations by chairman ice by any of the other Republicans.
-- now so focused on challenging this attorney general.
And being so aggressive I mean no one in their right mind could have watched those hearings and not come to the conclusion that this attorney general has come to.
I think it is completely reasonable for him to to lay out the case well that this really is a proxy attack on the president.
All right chip if if you watched the hearings what was your take on what was going on -- I did watch the hearings edit watch all the hearings what's most evidence I have other things to do eight -- -- -- -- -- It is it was exact opposite I thought chairman I said did he did he go after they've been the attorney general absolutely was he tough -- -- absolutely because as an important issue.
It's very serious -- the American people demand to know and they should know what happened in this case with the fast and furious in the attorney general's blocking and I think he's.
It's just absolutely unbelievable he's not turning these documents over and and I have a lot of respect for Donna but I think her memory.
Is a little -- in the fact that during the bush years this committee was very active in going after everything in the Bush Administration that moved.
And I think it makes this case -- Republicans have been.
Very serious about what issues are going after and I think this one's -- an incredibly serious one because it took a death of one of our citizens on the border we -- reluctant to bring this to -- -- need to get to know that you know we're gonna continue to watch it says these these committee hearings and and the battle over the documents goes on -- -- Don -- O'Donnell.