Holder and the DOJ have ignored some significant portions of congressional subpoenas served on them by Issa’s committee, and the congressman did not rule out Contempt of Congress proceedings against Holder if he continues to withhold documents, witnesses and information.
Issa did say that he plans to follow the processes and procedures Congress uses before going down such a path.
“We have a process, and we respect that process,” Issa told TheDC. “The administration can disagree on whether something is covered by an executive privilege and we’ll go through the process of showing it’s not. We’ve been going through that process. We’re quite convinced that everything within our subpoenas are valid and that they need to be delivered.”
Issa said Fast and Furious is different from other Obama administration scandals, including the granting of loan guarantees to the failed solar power company Solyndra and the Obamacare waivers selectively granted to companies in the district of House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Unlike with those scandals, he said, Fast and Furious features an ongoing “cover-up.”
“Well, the administration has been trying to make it go away first by denying it, then by covering it up and delaying,” Issa said. “What makes this one different is the cover-up. Very much like Iran Contra and other scandals of the past, the initial action [was] illegal, wrong, foolish, dangerous and ultimately deadly, which is bad enough. But the cover-up, the denial, giving Congress a letter flat saying ‘we don’t let guns walk’ when there was a program in which the emails show they called it gunwalking — they knew it was gunwalking and ultimately, Americans and Mexican citizens have paid with their lives.”
The cover-up continues to this day, Issa said.
Issa issued yet another directive to Holder in writing Tuesday, excusing the Arizona-based senior DOJ official Patrick Cunningham from appearing before his committee for a deposition, because Cunningham had already announced his intention to plead the Fifth Amendment the entire time.
“Although I was willing to excuse Mr. Cunningham from today’s deposition, I have reserved the right to authorize another subpoena for his testimony at a future date,” Issa wrote to Holder Tuesday. “Due to Mr. Cunningham’s recent actions, the Committee will be making further document requests of the Department. I expect nothing less than the Department’s full and complete compliance with these requests.”
*Update: Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder called for Holder’s resignation in an email to TheDC after this story was published. He had already signed onto House Resolution 490 — the official resolution of “no confidence” in Holder — before publication.