Chaffetz: Boehner will be ’embarrassed’ by Holder’s stonewalling
Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Tuesday that he thinks House Speaker John Boehner will be “sufficiently embarrassed” by Attorney General Eric Holder’s continued stonewalling of congressional investigators on the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. Holder has now missed a Memorial Day deadline to provide documents to Congress.
“In an abundance of caution, Speaker Boehner [and] Eric Cantor, our leader, sent a letter to the White House and Attorney General Holder asking them to answer some very basic questions – that’s been nearly a month,” Chaffetz told the Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer when asked Tuesday about what happened to that deadline. “I think the speaker is probably going to be sufficiently embarrassed by the fact that the attorney general is also blowing him off as they did with the subpoena that was issued in October. I find it totally an embarrassment, I find it totally wrong that the attorney general would just ignore a subpoena.”
“You can’t do that in this country and get away with it,” Chaffetz added.
House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa had given Holder until Memorial Day to comply with his Fast and Furious subpoena. Although Issa served Holder that subpoena last October, Holder has demonstrably failed to comply with all 22 parts of it. With 13 of the subpoena categories, Holder has provided no documents and with the other nine Holder remains far from compliant.
“I talked to Chairman Issa who as you know is a patient man but even his patience has limits,” South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said of that deadline in late April. “Before Memorial Day, Eric Holder will either comply or he will suffer consequences and when I say consequences I mean contempt of Congress.”
The threat of a contempt of Congress vote against Holder continues to loom. Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy officially joined the fight in May. It’s unclear what, if anything, came of that letter from House GOP leaders demanding that Holder and his Department of Justice stop stonewalling the congressional investigation.
The continued lack of full cooperation from the DOJ – even after Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy got involved – is something Chaffetz said should make members of Congress on both sides of the aisle upset. “We need some more people stepping up on both sides of the aisle to hold these guys accountable,” Chaffetz told Hemmer.
Hemmer also asked Chaffetz if Fast and Furious was “dying slowing.”
“No, it’s not going to go away,” Chaffetz responded. “The attorney general has to answer these questions. Remember, Brian Terry was killed in December of 2010 and it was in March of 2011 when President Obama promised in an interview on Univision that he would get to the bottom of this, that there would be people held accountable. The attorney general has not held anybody accountable.”
The congressional investigation into Fast and Furious started more than a year ago. In early October 2011 investigators discovered that Holder received a series of briefing documents explaining Fast and Furious and the gun-walking tactics it employed – he now claims he didn’t read the memos. Amid the scandal, 129 congressmen, three U.S. senators, two sitting governors and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney have all demanded Holder’s resignation over Fast and Furious.
A spokesperson for Boehner didn’t immediately respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment in response to Chaffetz’s remarks. (SEE ALSO: TheDC’s complete Fast and Furious coverage)
Holder is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning. Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar will lead a special order on the House floor about Fast and Furious on Thursday too.