Now that there’s bipartisan support for House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa to enforce the Operation Fast and Furious subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder has failed to comply with, Issa is pushing for more Democrats to jump on board and support his cause.
On Tuesday, Indiana Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly indicated his support for Issa’s push to hold Holder in contempt of Congress to enforce the subpoena.
On Tuesday, Issa sent a letter to the 31 House Democrats — including Donnelly — who, in June 2011, wrote to President Barack Obama asking him to direct Holder and the Department of Justice to comply with the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious.
In that June 2011 letter, those 31 Democrats told Obama that while the reports of the gunwalking “tactics used in this operation [Fast and Furious] are extremely troubling,” they think it’s “equally troubling that the Department of Justice has delayed action and withheld information from congressional inquiries.”
In his Tuesday letter to those 31 Democrats, Issa pointed out how the Obama administration — specifically Holder’s Department of Justice — has defied their demands since they wrote to Obama: “Eleven months later, the department has failed to provide those complete answers,” Issa wrote to them. “For over a year, Congress has been trying to uncover the truth about Fast and Furious. We have been consistently urging the Justice Department to cooperate — to the point of exhaustion.”
Holder has failed to comply with the congressional subpoena Issa served him on Oct. 12, 2011. Holder has failed to comply with all 22 categories of the subpoena that demands he provide documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. With 13 of the categories, Holder has provided no documents. When it comes to the other nine subpoena categories, Holder is still far from compliant, as TheDC reported late last week. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)
The House Oversight Committee’s ranking Democratic member, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, originally said that the efforts to enforce the congressional subpoena into Operation Fast and Furious were politically motivated. Cummings has alleged that those pushing the investigation — specifically with the apparently imminent move to cite Holder for contempt of Congress — of trying to “generate press for political purposes.”
“Holding someone in contempt is one of the most serious actions Congress can take, but it is being used in this case as part of a partisan election year witch hunt,” Cummings said in response to the beginnings of contempt proceedings against Holder, according to Fox News.
Now, following Donnelly’s support, the Fast and Furious subpoena is no longer a strictly partisan issue. It’s unclear if Cummings will retract his accusations against those pushing for accountability or if he’ll stand by it. Cummings spokeswoman Ashley Etienne did not answer when TheDC asked her if Cummings will also now classify this issue as bipartisan.