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by
Patrick Richardson

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October 14, 2011 - 7:57 am

Roll Call magazine is reporting Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who recently issued a subpoena for documents from Attorney General Eric Holder on the failed Operation Fast and Furious, also named in the same subpoena Eric Schultz, a key White House Communications Aide:

A little-noticed provision of the subpoena targets the White House, specifically naming Eric Schultz, a communications aide who was hired in May to respond to media inquiries on oversight matters.

Issa issued the subpoena as part of his investigation into a program called Fast and Furious, which whistle-blowers have described as allowing assault weapons and military-grade sniper rifles to transfer into criminal networks.

The subpoena demands “all communications” to or from Holder and 15 other top Justice Department officials on Fast and Furious, as well as every weekly update memo to Holder on any topic over a nearly two-year period. Issa contends that Holder may have learned about the program much earlier than he has acknowledged, and the California Republican been conducting a blitz of media interviews making that point.

The subpoena also requires Holder to produce “all communications between and among Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and Executive Office of the President employees, including but not limited to Associate Communications Director Eric Schultz, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any other firearms trafficking cases.”

“We know there were communications that did go to the White House on Fast and Furious. We’ve been told that they were personal communications that just happened to occur. We wanted an official assurance on that,” Issa told Roll Call on Wednesday, jokingly referring to Schultz as “my friend.”

But a GOP source familiar with the committee’s investigation said there was more to the request.

“The question is whether the White House has been instructing the Justice Department on what [documents] to release,” the source said. (All emphasis added.)

This is important because if Issa can get the documents — and that is by no means certain — he can potentially tie the operation to the White House, which has denied all along any involvement in the operation which sent thousands of weapons across the border into Mexico. It’s time and past time for a special prosecutor, and Holder should either step down or be removed and then be forced to testify under penalty of perjury.

Patrick Richardson has been a journalist for almost 15 years and an inveterate geek all his life. He blogs regularly at www.otherwheregazette.com, which aims to be like another SF magazine, just not so serious.
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