House Oversight Committee files contempt suit against Holder
Move seeks to force release of key documents in Fast and Furious probe
- Duration 6:50
- Date Aug 13, 2012
Move seeks to force release of key documents in Fast and Furious probe
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You and your return produced internally.
The materials responsive.
To the subpoenas.
We believe that we have.
Funded because the -- mr.
attorney general you're not a good witness a good witness answers a question -- let's go back again.
Well it was just last June when we saw that now infamous exchange between -- -- -- who chairs the house oversight committee.
And attorney general Eric Holder in the fast and furious investigation.
And their relationship has not apparently improved much since then.
-- -- committee has now filed a lawsuit a civil lawsuit against mr.
holder seeking to force him to release key documents.
Related to this probe into whether our government intentionally allowed guns to walk into the hands of some very dangerous Mexican criminals.
At least one of which was found at the death scene of an American Border Patrol agent.
-- now for fair about discussion Julian Epstein former chief council of the House Judiciary Committee.
And so you are an excellent panel to discuss this with.
Which is why we've been doing it for Sony wants but particularly today Julian because you word that the legal guy and the house counsel.
That -- Did it before what this house committee did today going to civil court.
And try to get at contempt citation in forced explaining exactly what -- done today.
And how how it's gonna play out in in -- immediate days and weeks.
Was is -- I have discussed in your program before this is the method that a committee now uses to enforce.
A contempt citation largely because the US attorney would not convene a grand jury and prosecute the case and that's true in every administration Republican and Democrat.
And what the house will do is try to go on and get -- there declaratory judgment or maybe your writ of man -- that will require the justice department of produce more than it has done.
I think Megan and I would point out on three for three in the last predictions of made on this show -- edwards' case the health care case.
And the Arizona immigration case -- I think the likelihood of them prevailing is very very low because of the standards that previous cases -- that.
The standard is basically that the house must show that it's essential to its legislative function one and two that there hasn't been an act combination that's -- attempted to be made.
By the Justice Department particularly on the latter given that the Justice Department has provided 8000 documents.
Testified eight times that -- team interviews with the committee.
It's I think it's very very unlikely the court find there hasn't been an accommodation.
It's an especially as well because the committee.
Has conceded that the Justice Department has provided it all of the information on the operational question on fast and -- the only question now is how was that the Justice Department.
Made a mistake in the Federer.
Fourth letter well and whether what senator Grassley and went her way out of state into money doesn't visit telling you really -- tells Nicholas let's talk about this -- because at that congress is gonna say it is an essential piece of information because can't lie to congress and there have been cases that say.
That is an essential function haven't -- but was -- like it through congress is looking into whether they've been lying to buy an administration official.
That that would qualify as an essential investigation now.
Correct yes it does and then now what about Julian -- second point about it whether the information -- there whether an accommodation has been offered can justice.
holder show that they have offered an accommodation on those documents -- speak to whether -- Intentionally misled.
Senator Grassley and others.
And the answer is going to be that they're gonna try to make that assertion but I think the answer to it is gonna be no way and that that they have not -- succeeded in doing that.
And generally what happens I -- a lot of civil litigation in federal court the judge is gonna get together here and say.
Hey what where can we accommodate what other documents can be given so there could be a compromise here which gives -- with remember what.
The chairman is focusing on here is -- will be operational aspect but really.
Leading to the false and fraudulent statements and letters made by the Department of Justice hierarchy.
A letter that was approved by the attorney general that said there was no gun running with no gun walking none of this happened and then eight months nine months later that the pull that letter back.
And the cover up it took place there and there is no privilege.
For the cover up.
That took place so what you're gonna have here is you're gonna have real litigation with the parties.
Bringing the issue but I think at the end of the day in and -- bragging about a three for three record what -- by the way the -- case I Julian -- I agree.
Arizona was a split decision -- got to give it to that no he was right on on obamacare.
-- McCain the election and a few months I say good stuff guys.
-- -- -- -- more about your decision that I thought trying to be -- -- got Julian and I think you're gonna say that the Republicans are gonna.
Not quite a challenge in the electoral campaign.
On that issue as well but at the end result here I think what's going to happen.
Is the department of Justice Department will put forward some more documents to see if an accommodation can be made but this is the process -- -- this is I think Jim would agree.
But we hear this is the beauty of the American -- good experiment if you will -- -- a call from our founding.
This type of litigation is what makes our country unique from everybody else -- we are now when a quarter were.
And -- that -- got them there and I -- against attorney general holder.
Is beautiful it's it's what's beautiful about the American process student out what happened -- -- about here's have you before because we that's us a little bit but I wanna get to today.
When it is now time for the for the DOJ.
To really is put up or shut up -- with the judge they can say to ice in out in in big in the congress.
And enact it anymore but they can't say -- to the judge they're gonna have to show their -- to this judge now.
No and I think that's the point what what we yes and no I think that's the point that the question misses and then -- -- The for the first of all the question about this cover up -- whether there was a lying to congress whether they can easily meet that standard.
There's no evidence of any cover there's no -- -- evidence of any intentional lying.
The Justice Department in the February 4 -- and -- little flatter -- and -- my -- and -- let me finish the point today.
Mistakenly said that they did not continue way to continue the bush policy of letting guns walk but that's seen just about whether it'll take as senior justice bureau -- finished the unofficial -- -- -- I -- -- great senior Justice Department Mitchell's new about that.
But more importantly look at the case under the Bush Administration -- what happened on the DOJ attorney firings scandal.
What the court said there when the house judiciary went to congress and tried to get a declaratory judgment.
The court said that that the accommodation that the White House had to -- with a house -- make with a House Judiciary Committee.
Was for them to meet.
It didn't require any production of documents because executive privilege had been declared but I just I got.
Are you that got -- yeah.
You -- -- -- -- funny thing is that mistakes as beautiful bags that.