Republican House leaders, led by Rep. Darrell Issa, are preparing a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder. Issa, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has tangled with Holder and the Obama administration for well over a year to get information regarding what the AG knew and when he knew it regarding the ATF’s Fast and Furious scandal. Justice provided an inaccurate, misleading memo to Issa’s committee in February 2011, that it later was forced to withdraw. Holder has claimed that he knew nothing about the gunrunning operation until just a few weeks before the first congressional hearings about it, but Issa’s investigation found that Holder’s own deputy chief of staff knew that a Fast and Furious firearm had been involved in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry the same day he was killed. Issa’s committee says that internal whistleblowers have provided more documentation into Fast and Furious than Holder’s DoJ has, despite the department’s legal obligation to respond to congressional subpoenas for them.
A Congressional contempt citation could trigger an independent counsel’s probe, to determine how much Holder knew, and how involved he and his office truly were in the Fast and Furious operation.