Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is not a happy man. He is not happy because the Department of Justice and the Acting Director of ATF, Kenneth Melson, are continuing to blow off the requests for documents related to Operation Fast and Furious (aka Project Gunwalker). This is in the face of a supoena requesting documents issued by the Committee.
Rep. Issa is so unhappy that he is threatening to have Melson cited for Contempt of Congress according to a letter released this morning. I have embedded the letter below. In the letter, Issa states that absent a claim of executive privilege ATF and DOJ have no authority to withhold the documents requested by Issa’s committee. Moreover, internal DOJ policies do not suffice as a reason to withhold documents and impede Congress in its constitutional authority.
A year ago this could not have happened. The Republicans did not have a majority in the House of Representatives and there is no way that Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) would have threatened to jack up the head of ATF. Elections most certainly do have consequences.
4-20-11 Melson Follow Up Letter
H/T David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh