Top oversight Democrat mum on joining GOP effort to have Holder testify again
House oversight committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings hasn’t officially followed up on his public calls for Attorney General Eric Holder to testify before the committee on Operation Fast and Furious.
“I think that, John, he has to come up [to Capitol Hill] and say what he has said in his letters, and make it clear under oath,” Cummings told CNN’s John King on October 12. “But at the same time, I want to make sure we are not harming any pending cases, we are not putting FBI informants in jeopardy.”
Democratic oversight committee staffers haven’t returned requests from The Daily Caller on whether Cummings plans to take action in his official capacity as the committee’s highest-ranking minority party member.
Though Cummings hasn’t followed up on his comments to CNN, a Republican member of the committee, Rep. Patrick Meehan, has.
“I am writing to respectfully urge you to appear before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to answer important questions on the ‘Fast and the Furious’ operation,” Meehan wrote to Holder in a Tuesday letter exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller.
“As a former U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, I believe your testimony can provide critical insight into this matter to help ensure that this never happens again,” Meehan wrote.
“I agree with the Committee’s ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, who said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ program Sunday that Democrats ‘want a responsible and balanced investigation,’” Meehan wrote to Holder. “While the Committee has done important work on this issue, I believe only through your testimony can we conclude a ‘responsible and balanced investigation’ that collects ‘all the information’ that Ranking Member Cummings seeks.” (RELATED: Senate passes amendment to block funding for future Fast and Furious programs)
“As a former U.S. attorney, I urge you to appear because in this serious and tragic case, we do owe it to the American people to conduct a thorough investigation and conduct responsible proper oversight — not engage in a partisan witch hunt,” Meehan continued. “Our shared goal is to uncover the truth and identify the right lessons-learned so this never happens again — not in scoring political points.”
It’s unclear if Cummings will support Meehan’s call for a balanced investigation by having Holder appear before the oversight committee.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith has also invited Holder back to his committee to clarify testimony he made at a May 3 hearing.