Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Attorney general Eric Holder faces possibility of jail after citation for contempt

From Fox News.

Excerpt:

The GOP-led House voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to provide key information pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, making Holder the first sitting Cabinet member to be held in contempt.

The vote was 255-67, with 17 Democrats breaking ranks to side with Republicans in favor of contempt.

[...]Congressional sources tell Fox News that House GOP leaders will now meet to decide the next steps, but the investigation is expected to go forward with more subpoenas being issued.

“Today’s vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided and politically motivated investigation during an election year,” Holder said afterward. “By advancing it over the past year and a half, Congressman Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety.”

The vote, which holds the attorney general in criminal contempt, was followed by a second vote that held Holder in civil contempt of Congress. The civil contempt vote allows Congress to go to court to seek additional documents.

The criminal-contempt vote is supposed to direct a U.S. attorney to convene a grand jury to review the case and decide whether to indict Holder.

However, considering Holder would be investigated by his own employees, some analysts have said it’s unlikely that would happen. If the case proceeds, though, Holder could face a maximum one year in jail if convicted.

Now that’s bipartisanship you can approve of.

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Obama covers-up DOJ operation that allowed gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels

First, a re-cap of the details of the Fast and Furious gun smuggling operation:

Issa argues the documents will shine light on a number of revelations about just how much knowledge Holder and the the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Obama administration had about the Fast and Furious, including:

  • The Justice Department switching its view from denying whistleblower allegations to admitting they were true.
  • Hiding the identity of officials who led the charge to call whistleblowers liars and retaliate against them.
  • The reactions of top officials when confronted with evidence about gunwalking in Fast and Furious, including whether they were surprised or were already aware.
  • The Justice Department’s assessment of responsibility for officials who knew about reckless conduct or were negligent.
  • Whether senior officials and political appointees at fault in Operation Fast and Furious were held to the same standards as lower level career employees whom the Department has primarily blamed.

Operation Fast and Furious resulted in hundreds of weapons purchased at gun shops in Arizona ending up in Mexico, many of them at crime scenes. Initially, the department denied that gun-walking had taken place.

Relying on the tactic, federal agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives abandoned their usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased. Instead, the goal of gun-walking was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks.

From The Hill:

A House panel voted Wednesday to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a subpoena, defying an assertion of executive privilege from President Obama.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Republican Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.), approved a resolution along party lines to place Holder in contempt after battling him for months over access to internal agency documents about the gun-tracking operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

The vote came after Obama escalated the conflict by sending a letter to the committee claiming executive privilege over the documents the panel had sought.

All 23 Republicans on the committee voted for the contempt resolution, while all 17 Democrats voted against it. Every member of the panel was present for the vote.

Minutes after the panel’s decision, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced that the full House will vote on the contempt measure next week.

“While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the attorney general reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week,” the Republican leaders said in a statement. “If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue.”

How legitimate is it to use executive privilege to block a investigation of a gun-smuggling operation that makes Watergate look like patty-cake?

Here’s what Obama said about it – before he did it:

President Obama criticized former President George W. Bush for trying to “hide” behind executive privilege in 2007 after the Bush administration refused to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the controversial firings of nine U.S. attorneys.

In an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Obama said there’s been “a tendency on the part of this administration to try to hide behind exec privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place.”

“I think the administration would be best served by coming clean on this,” Obama said, after Bush claimed executive privilege on the issue.

“There doesn’t seem to be any national security issues involved with the U.S. attorney question. There doesn’t seem to be any justification for not offering up some clear plausible rationale for why these U.S. attorneys were targeted when by all assessments they were doing an outstanding job. I think the American people deserve to know what was going on there,” he said.

Who knows how many people those guns have murdered? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? You can read a statement from the family of the slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry here. He was one of the victims of the Obama administration’s plan to allow guns to be smuggled across the border into the hands of ultra-violent Mexican drug cartels.

In a way, none of this surprises me – we knew that Obama was heavily involved in illegal drug use during his high school years, as he admits in his own books.

Did Barack Obama order the sale of American firearms to Mexican drug cartels in order to justify stricter gun control measures? Was this gun smuggling plan done in collusion with the Mexican drug cartels who benefited from it? What did Obama know, and when did he know it? Now that Obama has blocked the release of Fas and Furious documents, will we ever get the truth about who ordered Fast and Furious?

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Republicans prepare contempt citation for AG Eric Holder over Fast and Furious

From CBS News.

Excerpt:

House Republicans investigating the Fast and Furious scandal plan to pursue a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, senior congressional aides told CBS News.

The resolution will accuse Holder and his Justice Department of obstructing the congressional probe into the allegations that the government let thousands of weapons fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

The citation would attempt to force Holder to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents related to the probe, which has entered its second year.

For months, congressional Republicans probing ATF’s Fast and Furious “Gunwalker” scandal – led by California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, have been investigating a contempt citation. They’ve worked quietly behind the scenes to build support among fellow Republicans, since it could ultimately face a full House vote.

CBS News has confirmed that House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was provided a 48-page long draft by Issa, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“While there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action, no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders,” a Republican leadership aide told CBS News.

[...]In the case of Holder and Fast and Furious, the Oversight Committee’s contempt resolution could eventually have a full House vote and, if passed, Congress could seek enforcement through federal courts. Passage of the resolution itself could, however, encourage the Justice Department to comply even without a court order.

[...]A contempt citing by Congress against the executive branch, a strong sanction, is considered by some to be politically risky; especially if it doesn’t succeed. Sources say that’s why Republican staffers have taken a great deal of time trying to build support among colleagues in advance of the citation’s formal release, which could come in the next few weeks if not sooner.

If you are not familiar with the Obama administration’s plan to facilitate the sale of firearms to Mexican drug cartels, in order to provide justification for stiffer gun control laws, then please check out the links below.

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Eric Holder wants to brainwash people against legal gun ownership

Story here from the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

Attorney General Eric Holder supported using Hollywood, the media and government officials in order to “really brainwash people” into opposing firearm ownership, according to a 1995 C-SPAN video that emerged Sunday online.

Holder, who was then the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, was addressing the Women’s National Democratic Club on Jan. 30, 1995. In his speech, he held up anti-smoking campaigns as a model for an anti-gun campaign.

“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we’ve changed our attitudes about cigarettes,” Holder said.

[...]Holder explained that he wanted to use influential figures like then-Washington, D.C. Marion Barry and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as well as widely watched TV shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Martin,” to forward his anti-gun campaign. He sought to push that same agenda through public schools as well, “every day, every school, at every level.”

Holder said these resources would be the driving force behind a campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Consider that the Obama administration has been implicated in a plan to smuggle assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, so that they could then turn around and push for more controls against law-abiding gun owners who want to defend themselves from criminals.

The revelation that Holder wanted to “brainwash” people into being “anti-gun” appears to be supported by what Congress and the American people have learned about Operation Fast and Furious.

In Fast and Furious, the Obama administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – in a program overseen by Holder’s Department of Justice – sent about 2,000 guns south to Mexican drug cartels. The Obama administration did this via “straw purchasers” who bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.

[...]In a July 2010 email that surfaced in a congressional investigation, ATF Assistant Director Mark Chait asked Bill Newell, his agency’s lead agent in Phoenix to “see if these guns were all purchased from the same [dealer] and at one time.  We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales.”

Statistics collected from the program eventually formed the backbone of that new long-gun reporting rule, which the administration implemented after Fast and Furious became a national scandal.

Got that? The Obama administration smuggled guns to Mexican drug cartels, and then turned around and used the gun smuggling they oversaw as an excuse to impose restrictions on legal gun owners who want to protect themselves from criminals – like the drug cartetls.

Also supporting allegations that Fast and Furious was a gun-control stalking horse are comments made by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein during a November 2011 hearing.

“My concern, Mr. Chairman, is there’s been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made, but I think this hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem,” Feinstein said.

“And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?”

In his own written testimony in November, Holder complained that Congress “voted to keep law enforcement in the dark when individuals purchase multiple semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in Southwest border gun shops.”

And on Sunday another sign of Holder’s anti-gun advocacy surfaced when the blog The Right Scoop published excerpts from a Washington Post op-ed Holder wrote shortly after 9/11, in which he used the terrorist attacks as a rationale to push for more gun control laws.

Note that the Obama administration’s gun smuggling to Mexican drug cartels got two American law enforcement personnel killed and at least 300 Mexican civilians.

Excerpt:

During Fast and Furious, which was organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, the Obama administration sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via “straw purchasers” who bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. This tactic is known as “gunwalking.”

Fast and Furious weapons were used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and at least 300 Mexican civilians.

[Jaime] Zapata was killed with guns that were purchased in Texas by two different traffickers. According to CBS News reports, both of those traffickers were under ATF surveillance without being arrested for a period of time while they were trafficking guns. Both were arrested at a later date.

The only question about this story is how high does it go up? Did Eric Holder order Operation Fast and Furious? Or did it come straight from Barack Obama? How far would Democrats go to make crime safe for criminals by enacting restrictions on legal gun ownership by law-abiding Americans?

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Fast and Furious’ goal was to undermine legal firearm ownership

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Newly obtained documents show that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discussed using its covert operation Fast and Furious to argue for new rules about gun sales. We told you so.

[...]As CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson reports, emails show ATF officials discussed using the deliberate transfer of weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify a new gun regulation known as “Demand Letter 3.”

We say deliberate because congressional testimony by ATF agents demonstrates how the tracking of Fast and Furious weapons stopped at the border and that requests to interdict the weapons transfers and arrest the gun traffickers were denied by higher-ups.

Demand Letter 3 was so named because it was the third ATF attempt to have Southwest gun shops report all long-gun (rifle or shotgun) sales to the ATF — even those to law-abiding American citizens with all the proper registration and other forms.

On July 14, 2010, five months before Terry’s murder, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, the ATF’s Phoenix special agent in charge of Fast and Furious: “Bill, can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time? We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long-gun sales. Thanks.”

On Jan. 24, as the ATF was preparing to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, another email showed Newell saw it as an opportunity “to address multiple sales on long guns issue.”

After the press conference, Chait emailed Newell that in “light of our request for Demand Letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of the case.”

You can read the news article from CBS News right here. The headline is “Documents: ATF used “Fast and Furious” to make the case for gun regulations”.

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