Ranking Minority Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is being deliberately obtuse in his criticism of the Committee’s subpoena of Attorney General Eric Holder.
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 12, 2011)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement in response to a subpoena issued by Chairman Darrell E. Issa to the Department of Justice for tens of thousands of pages of documents.
“As I have said all along, Fast and Furious was a terrible mistake with tragic consequences,” said Cummings. “The Committee is right to investigate what went wrong and why, but we must do so in a fair and responsible manner.”
“This subpoena is a deep-sea fishing expedition and a gross abuse of the Committee’s authority. It demands tens of thousands of pages of highly sensitive law enforcement and national security materials that have never been requested before and are completely unrelated to Operation Fast and Furious,” said Cummings. “Rather than legitimate fact-gathering, this looks more like a political stunt.”
The 22 categories of subpoenaed documents include:
•weekly reports to the Attorney General that are completely unrelated to Operation Fast and Furious and contain some of the nation’s most sensitive law enforcement and national security information;
•communications between the Department of Justice and the White House press office about White House press events; and
•documents related to confidential informants who provided information about the operations of a leading Mexican drug cartel, the production of which could put the lives of those informants and their families in grave jeopardy, according to the FBI.
The Department of Justice has produced thousands of pages of documents to the Committee and continues to produce documents on a regular basis. Ranking Member Cummings has asked the Department to cooperate fully with the Committee’s investigation.
Would those be the same documents delivered to the committee that have been so utterly redacted that they look like a black inkspot?
Mr. Cummings obviously believes his job is not to serve the American people in the search for the truth but rather to protect the Obama Administration in this investigation. As Dave Hardy noted regarding the subpoena, it is “specific enough to show the committee knows details about who wrote to whom.” I think Mr. Cummings does understand just how bad those details are and is doing his damnedest to prevent their exposure.