The PJ Tatler

Issa Offers to Delay Holder Contempt Hearing If Promised Documents are Handed Over

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Attorney General Eric Holder today that the Justice Department’s production of a new set of documents might postpone Wednesday’s planned contempt hearing.

Holder wrote Issa yesterday, saying that he’s willing to produce a new subset of documents detailing how the DoJ’s understanding of Operation Fast and Furious evolved after Feb. 4, 2011, when Congress began asking questions about the gun-walking program.

The attorney general also offered more documents on whistleblower accusations and other concerns expressed by the committee.

“While I do have substantial concerns that these documents may not be sufficient to allow the Committee to complete its investigation, delivery of these documents to the Committee before the scheduled consideration of contempt at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, would be sufficient to justify the postponement of the proceeding to allow for the review of materials,” Issa wrote today. “Senator Grassley and I are also willing to meet with you as soon as Tuesday, June 19, 2012. It would best facilitate a constructive dialogue if the Department would produce the documents you have outlined prior to this discussion.”

Issa said he still has “remaining concerns” about the details of the offered documents, including how many pages between February 2011 and December 2011 the department intends to withhold. He also wants a log of the documents to determine if they’re what the committee is asking for.

“Again, production of the documents noted in your letter and outlined yesterday in a meeting with Committee staff would be sufficient for me to justify a postponement of the Committee’s scheduled vote on contempt to facilitate their review and discussions with the Department,” Issa wrote. “I am prepared to announce this delay once the Department produces these documents.”