Attorney General Eric Holder met at 5pm today with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) along with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to discuss the production of certain documents related to Operation Fast and Furious in an attempt to stave off the vote on the contempt citation. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to vote on a contempt citation for Holder for failing to produce subpoenaed documents.
The only thing that could postpone or stop the vote on the contempt citation would be for Eric Holder to deliver a subset of the documents requested by the committee. As of the 5pm meeting, he hadn’t done that and indicated in the meeting that he wasn’t prepared to produce them.
The following is the statement from Chairman Issa on the meeting and the contempt vote.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa made the following statement after his meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:
“I had hoped that after this evening’s meeting I would be able to tell you that the Department had delivered documents that would justify the postponement of tomorrow’s vote on contempt. The Department told the Committee on Thursday that it had documents it could produce that would answer our questions. Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation.
“While I still hope the Department will reconsider its decision so tomorrow’s vote can be postponed, after this meeting I cannot say that I am optimistic. At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee.”
While Issa is still holding the door open for postponing the vote on contempt it appears to be closing fast. If his description of what Holder said is accurate – and there is no reason to believe it isn’t – then Holder just thumbed his nose at the Committee again. I think all that Holder accomplishes with his stonewalling is to unite the Committee’s Republicans.
UPDATE: Sen. Chuck Grassley didn’t think much of Eric Holder’s decision to continue withholding the documents.
“The Attorney General wants to trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today. He wants to turn over only what he wants to turn over and not give us any information about what he’s not turning over. That’s unacceptable. I’m not going to buy a pig in a poke. Chairman Issa is right to move forward to seek answers about a disastrous government operation.”