House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa shot back at Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, saying the DOJ’s recent claims that Holder has complied Operation Fast and Furious subpoenas are “disappointing.”
Issa called a May 3 letter from Deputy Attorney General James Cole claiming that Holder has complied with the subpoenas “regurgitated misleading numbers and irrelevant internal memoranda disguised as legal opinions to make the case that the department has cooperated with the committee’s investigation.”
Issa served Holder a subpoena on Oct. 12, 2011. Holder has thus far failed to comply fully with all 22 categories of the subpoena that requires him to provide Congress with documents relating to 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.
In that May 3 letter, Cole said that the DOJ has provided Issa with “more than 7,600 pages of material as part of 46 separate productions of documents.”
While that may be the case, the Department of Justice has said that Holder gave up tens of thousands more pages to his own internal inspector general. Issa said those “7,600 pages shared with the committee are a small fraction” of what Holder has given to Congress.
Issa added that “other sources,” like whistle-blowers, have given his committee much more than the 7,600 pages of documents Holder has submitted.
Issa said that documents Holder has provided were “heavily redacted, to the point that the redactions were laughable. Literally.” (RELATED: House Democrats join Fast and Furious accountability efforts)
Issa then cited a segment comedian Jon Stewart did on “The Daily Show” in which Stewart described mostly-redacted documents as “prized Mondrians from his famed black period.” Mondrian was an artist who was famous for cubist paintings.
Issa compared the DOJ’s assertions of cooperation to “Waiting for Godot,” a British play in which two main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait endlessly for the arrival of someone named Godot.
“For those of us on the committee, waiting for the department to move off its misguided position and produce the documents we seek has been like waiting for Godot,” Issa wrote to Holder. “Like Vladimir and Estragon, we held out hope despite mounting evidence that nothing is going to show up. We cannot wait any longer.”