Obama also said that the documents he and Holder have kept from Congress “typically relate to internal communications that were not related to the actual Fast and Furious operation.”
Congressional investigators have no way of verifying Obama’s claims, since they have been denied access to the documents. In his Thursday testimony, Horowitz said all of the 100,000 pages were relevant to his investigation.
“Every document we asked for and reviewed and cited in this report we found to be relevant and important,” Horowitz told House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa near the beginning of the Thursday hearing. “And, in fact, we don’t cite in the report every relevant document. We obviously had to pick and choose. So certainly what we’ve seen, and we asked for and saw, we determined was relevant.”
Obama also said he thinks the IG report “was not a whitewash in any way,” but several members of the House oversight committee don’t necessarily agree.
Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a key Issa ally throughout the investigation, told Horowitz at Thursday’s hearing that he thinks “this is a wonderful report,” but that he’s convinced Horowitz “went a little soft on Lanny Breuer.”
South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy — another key Fast and Furious investigator — agreed with Chaffetz’s assessment that Horowitz was not critical enough of Breuer.
“The largest exception I take to your report is the same one Mr. Chaffetz had,” Gowdy said during the hearing. “Lanny Breuer was the Criminal Division chief.”
Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams — a former law enforcement officer — took her questioning of Horowitz’s treatment of Breuer a step further: “Your friendship with Mr. Breuer would not impact your decision-making on any of this, would it not?” Adams asked Horowitz.
Horowitz confirmed he has a personal friendship with Breuer, but denied that it had anything to do with his report or its findings. “It had zero impact,” Horowitz said. “When I took the oath to take this office, I took an oath to take this job and I as I committed before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the only thing that was going to make my decisions here were the facts and the law. Period.”
Obama’s comments may imply that they think that Holder is cleared. Horowitz, however, told the House panel, “There are pieces of this investigation that are ongoing, as we’ve reflected in the report.”