Holder viewed the meeting differently than both Cummings and Issa.
“The deputy attorney general and I came here today in good faith in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute that we’ve had with this committee and with Chairman Issa,” Holder said at a rare, unexpected press conference after the meeting.
“We have made, to date, available an unprecedented number of documents, really inconsistent with the way the Justice Department has dealt with many of these matters in the past. We’ve provided deliberative materials to the committee. We’ve laid out plan that might resolve this matter. We have offered to make materials available — documents available —from Feb. 4 – Dec. 2011. We’ve offered to make briefings on those documents, to answer any questions that might come up about those documents being produced.”
“At least as of now, the committee has rejected that proposal,” Holder continued. “It is our hope that we can somehow find a way throughout this. The offer that we made is still there — it’s still standing. It is one of those things, as I’ve said, that the Justice Department has not done previously.”
Issa, though, said the only thing that will halt the contempt vote — scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday — is Holder producing the documents. Even though Holder has missed several of Issa’s established deadlines — including his Monday night deadline of Tuesday morning — Issa said he’s okay with Holder still providing the documents as long as it happens before Wednesday morning’s vote. Cummings even told press that Issa has agreed to keep staff available all night at the Capitol.
“The deadline will always move to very last minute,” Issa said. “We always want to be respectful that if we get the information or any information as to rethink contempt, and make progress on behalf of Brian Terry’s family and the American people, then we will take it. We have no hard deadlines. We do have markups scheduled for tomorrow. If we receive no documents, we’ll go forward. If we receive documents, we’ll evaluate them and we’ll take such time as is necessary and delay to be sure of the quality of these documents so that it is sufficient.”
Issa also said that he hopes President Barack Obama would make Holder comply with the subpoenas.
“We would hope that the president would ask his attorney general to be more cooperative — 31 Democrats asked for more cooperation than we’ve gotten,” Issa said, referencing a letter 31 House Democrats wrote to Obama last year asking him to direct Holder and the Department of Justice to comply with the congressional investigation.