Politics

Fast and Furious: Dems radio silent

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter

North Carolina Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell won’t follow through on a promise he made to the American people  for Operation Fast and Furious accountability, his 2012 challenger told The Daily Caller.

One of Kissell’s 2012 Republican challengers, Richard Hudson, told TheDC that the Democrat’s continued failure to follow through on a June 3 letter to President Barack Obama demanding answers and accountability for Fast and Furious shows Kissell is more interested in playing politics and getting re-elected than he is in the truth.

“What happened in Fast and Furious is an absolute tragedy, but that tragedy was compounded by the failure of the Obama administration to tell the truth about it,” Hudson told TheDC. “It is apparent that Attorney General Holder did not tell the truth when testifying before Congress and that is unacceptable. I wish I could tell you why Larry Kissell doesn’t feel the same way.”

Kissell, he said, “owes it to the people he represents to come forward and call for Holder’s resignation.”

“I believe Kissell is afraid this would embarrass President Obama and hurt his re-election. The truth is the American people don’t care about politics.  Lives were lost, and those who played a role, had knowledge, or misled the Congress should be removed from office.”

Kissell was one of 31 Democrats who wrote to Obama on June 3 asking him to direct Holder and the Department of Justice to “promptly provide complete answers to all congressional inquiries” about Fast and Furious. Holder and the DOJ have not fulfilled that request.

Kissell and his 30 colleagues said the “tactics” used in Operation Fast and Furious “are extremely troubling.”

“Our concerns were heightened with news that one of the firearms sold may have been used in the murder of a Border Patrol agent,” the Democrats wrote. “These allegations call into question the judgment of the agents involved. It is equally troubling that the Department of Justice has delayed action and withheld information from congressional inquiries.”

As recently as this month, Holder and the DOJ have continued to refuse to provide witnesses and documents that House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa has not only requested, but subpoenaed. If Holder continues to delay action and withhold information from Congress, the subpoena can ultimately be enforced by Contempt of Congress proceedings.

Since the Democrats’ letter, Republican Rep. Raul Labrador and 50 of his GOP colleagues have made clear that they believe Holder “is either lying or grossly incompetent. Either way, he is unfit to serve the American people as the highest law enforcement officer in the land.”

Though the 51 congressmen are demanding Holder’s immediate resignation, Kissell won’t talk. He has gone silent now that a high-ranking Obama administration official — and personal ally of the president — is implicated in the scandal.

Hudson said Kissell’s lack of action is unacceptable and his failure to lead on this issue has become “typical” behavior for the North Carolina Democat. “He talks a good game but refuses to lead,” Hudson said. “The people of the 8th District need real conservative leadership from a congressman who will take a principled stand. Larry Kissell has not led — I will.”

“Attorney General Holder has lost the confidence of the American people and should be replaced,” Hudson added. “Unfortunately, the people in the 8th District cannot count on Larry Kissell to stand up for what is right.”

The Daily Caller has given Kissell and his spokesman Christopher Schuler several days to respond to questions about this issue. On at least four occasions, an intern or staffer who answered the phone in Kissell’s Washington, D.C., office told TheDC that Schuler was in the office but unavailable to talk about Fast and Furious. TheDC left detailed messages and sent email requests asking for Kissell’s comment. He has not responded.

Follow Matthew on Twitter