Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes told The Daily Caller that he thinks either Attorney General Eric Holder or President Barack Obama’s chief re-election campaign strategist, David Axelrod, is lying about private political meetings they allegedly had together.
During a June 7 House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Forbes asked Holder if Axelrod, the White House or Obama’s re-election campaign were involved in crafting the Department of Justice’s messaging about Operation Fast and Furious.
“We [Holder, Axelrod and the White House] have certainly talked about ways in which we could deal with the interaction between the Justice Department and Congress — about ways in which we would,” Holder replied.
Rep. Forbes pushed Holder further by asking him if Axelrod, Obama’s re-election campaign and the White House were involved in crafting the DOJ’s policy for dealing with press. He said that they were.
“In terms of trying to get any message out that was consistent with facts and make sure it was done in an appropriate way, I’ve had conversations like that with people in the White House,” Holder said.
Since then, Axelrod told CNN’s Candy Crowley that no such meetings took place.
Rep. Forbes told TheDC that he thinks Axelrod’s denial of Holder’s statement to him means one of them is lying.
“I think that’s problematic because here’s the thing that we definitely know: We know that one of the two of them is not telling the truth,” Rep. Forbes said. “You can pick which one you think it is, but one of them is certainly not telling the truth because you can’t have one them saying, ‘Yeah, we had these meetings,’ and the other one saying, ‘No we didn’t.’”
Rep. Forbes added that he thinks Holder is telling the truth in this instance.
“I have very little question that it’s Holder who’s telling the truth about their meetings,” Rep. Forbes said in a phone interview with The Daily Caller. “And, the reason why is because it would be to his disadvantage to say that. If he hadn’t had any meetings, I think Mr. Holder would have been more than glad to have come out and say, ‘I never had any meetings with him — he never counseled me.’”
“Mr. Axelrod is not under oath on news shows,” Rep. Forbes added.
Rep. Forbes also pointed to Axelrod’s past and who he picked up as high-profile political clients.
“What’s really interesting is Mr. Axelrod really doesn’t have much credibility on these issues anymore because — just go back and look through his clients and he took the same position: He represented John Edwards; he represented Mr. [Richard] Daley after he had been arrested by prosecutors for pervasive fraud, and even wrote op-eds defending him; he represented Eliot Spitzer,” Rep. Forbes said. “So, I mean, here’s the guy that has got a record of just rubber-stamping saying, ‘No, no. That’s okay. There was nothing wrong. Let’s just move on.’”
Reports surfaced that the Democratic National Committee and Axelrod summoned all of Obama’s cabinet secretaries to DNC headquarters so they could use their positions in a political way to help Obama get re-elected.
“There’s no question about it [that the DNC and the Obama re-election campaign are using the president’s administration as an extension of the campaign],” Rep. Forbes said. “Nobody denied that this took place or that it happened. Now if this is not bad enough — which I think it is — we now have the attorney general’s office, which Mr. Holder –—and I took him at his word, if you looked I wasn’t harsh in my examination, in fact I was kind of shocked by his response — Mr. Holder began by saying that his office was different because they ‘apply the law and the facts and nothing else.’”
“I’m sure he got thinking about the fact that you know he had an oath responsibility there because he came back and that’s when he said he had been counseling with Mr. Axelrod,” Rep. Forbes continued, noting that it at first appeared Holder would deny the influence. “I think that’s very very concerning because you all of a sudden, you’ve got the attorney general of the United States now getting counsel from the top strategist from the campaign in a climate where we know the top strategist from the campaign is telling all of the cabinet secretaries what they should be doing between now and the election.”
Fast and Furious documents that Obama asserted the executive privilege over on Wednesday morning may include Axelrod’s name. But, when asked if he thinks that’s a possibility, Rep. Forbes said he doesn’t want to speculate and that he is waiting for the evidence before he jumps to a conclusion like that.
Rep. Forbes is one of the 129 House Republicans who have called for Holder’s resignation over Operation Fast and Furious. They join seven U.S. senators, two sitting governors and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in demanding Holder’s ouster over the scandal.