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Darrell Issa: No Evidence White House Covering Up Anything In Fast & Furious

For all the allegations from the left that Darrell Issa is involved in some kind of witch hunt in his Fast & Furious investigation through the House Government Reform & Oversight Committee, he sure doesn’t seem to be hunting many witches:

WASHINGTON — Representative Darrell Issa, the Republican leading the investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the botched gun-smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious, appeared to contradict Speaker John A. Boehner on Sunday, saying there was no evidence that White House officials were involved in a cover-up.

The statements from Mr. Issa, the chairman of the House oversight committee, came after Mr. Boehner said last week that President Obama’s decision to assert executive privilege to shield Justice Department documents related to the operation was “an admission that the White House officials were involved in decisions that misled the Congress and covered up the truth.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” a clip of Mr. Boehner’s statement was played and Mr. Issa was asked in an interview whether his committee had evidence that White House officials had knowingly misled Congress about the case.

“No, we don’t,” Mr. Issa said. “And I hope they don’t get involved. I hope this stays at Justice. And I hope that Justice cooperates, because ultimately, Justice lied to the American people.”

Well, they either lied or the were willfully or negligently unaware of a major breach of security occurring within their ranks. Either way, this is worth investigating fully.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    “he sure doesn’t seem to be hunting many witches”

    Well, only if you ignore his desire to get Eric Holder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  2. Yes how dare the guy in charge of the ATF be made to answer for what happened

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  3. Moosebreath says:

    Ah yes, it’s as if Doug has actually seen the items which were claimed as privileged, instead of choosing to take one party’s view of the documents they have seen and ignore the other’s. Just like the partisan he is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  4. Moosebreath,

    The Administration has yet to identify with any specificity the documents it claims are privileged or provide the legal basis for said claim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  5. Bennett says:

    And yesterday he accused the Justice Dept and ATF of keeping F&F going as a means to drum up support for gun control. Yeah, no politics involved here….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  6. al-Ameda says:

    On “Fox News Sunday,” a clip of Mr. Boehner’s statement was played and Mr. Issa was asked in an interview whether his committee had evidence that White House officials had knowingly misled Congress about the case.

    “No, we don’t,” Mr. Issa said. “And I hope they don’t get involved. I hope this stays at Justice. And I hope that Justice cooperates, because ultimately, Justice lied to the American people.”

    Even while granting a point, he can’t resist being sleazy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: In case you missed it, the Justice Department has TWICE had to “retract” letters it sent to Issa’s committee when it came out that those letters weren’t exactly accurate.

    In other words, they’ve been caught TWICE lying on this matter.

    So, noting something that is indisputably true and admitted by both sides is now “sleazy?” Interesting standards you got there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: In case you missed it, the Justice Department has TWICE had to “retract” letters it sent to Issa’s committee when it came out that those letters weren’t exactly accurate.

    In other words, they’ve been caught TWICE lying on this matter.

    So, in your world, “retract” equals lying. Interesting definition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  9. john personna says:

    The strange thing about this story is that “Issa breaks with Boehner” is suddenly seen as “see, Republicans weren’t claimed “White House officials were involved in decisions that misled the Congress and covered up the truth.”

    No Doug, Issa standing up is good, but it doesn’t undo the rest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  10. mattb says:

    @al-Ameda:

    So, in your world, “retract” equals lying.

    Which seems somewhat ironic considering that Jenos has had to retract a number of claims he’s posted here on other topics.

    Beyond that, I’m losing the general Issa/Fox logic thread: So the White House was engaged in a conspiracy with Justice to let guns walk in order to enact stricter gun laws (somehow… tbd on exactly how), but isn’t attempting to cover up that fact?

    Just want to be sure I understand what’s being said…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: No one ever said that Obama or the White House was directly involved in this. There was no evidence for it.

    But then he claimed Executive Privilege. He might not have been in on the scandal, but he now owns the coverup.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  12. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: The first retraction was along the lines of “there was absolutely no gun-walking going on.” Which there absolutely was.

    The second retraction was when Holder stated that former AG Mukasey was briefed in on “Wide Receiver,” which he wasn’t. That was all part of the “blame Bush” lie that I’ve seen parroted several times here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  13. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No one ever said that Obama or the White House was directly involved in this. There was no evidence for it.

    The Boehner quote was:

    “an admission that the White House officials were involved in decisions that misled the Congress and covered up the truth.”

    Issa is not just walking back Boehner, he’s walking back the entire temper of the investigation, which is good, but again does not erase history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: OK, you misunderstood me. And that’s because I was imprecise. I apologize.

    By “this,” I meant the original gun-walking, not the coverup.

    However, considering that Executive Privilege has customarily only covered direct communications involving the president, the assertion of that over the documents regarding the coverup certainly implies that Obama was involved in the coverup…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  15. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Didn’t Issa just say there was no evidence of that either?

    A lot of walking back here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But then he claimed Executive Privilege. He might not have been in on the scandal, but he now owns the coverup.

    What cover-up? Issa says there isn’t one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  17. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    By “this,” I meant the original gun-walking, not the coverup.

    What cover-up? Issa …. etcetera …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, leftism is such a mental disorder that Issa eventually could obtain the smoking gun documents, literally, and the left nevertheless still would castigate him for having a partisan agenda, or being a racist, or whatever.

    In any case, ultimately the facts here will come out, unless Obama does us all a favor and loses his reelection bid, in which case I presume Issa & Co. would not have the fortitude to continue to turn over every stone. If Obama continues in office there’s no chance in hell that he’ll be able to stonewall for another four years. Not possible. This isn’t Sandy Berger walking into the archives and stuffing classified documents down his pants and the stealing them. Zombieland wouldn’t have known Sandy Berger from the Hamburglar. With this scandal, however, the POTUS himself now directly is involved. There’s no way the media can censor this story. There’s no way the White House can close their eyes and make it go away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  19. @Tsar Nicholas:

    That ups the normal Tsar Nicholas crazy factor by about two. Forgery?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    If Obama continues in office there’s no chance in hell that he’ll be able to stonewall for another four years.

    if Obama is re-elected the Right will even more apoplectic than it has been in the preceding 3 and 1/2 years, so would I expect the House to initiate impeachment proceeding against Obama sometime in 2013.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Yes how dare the guy in charge of the ATF be made to answer for what happened

    Melson has given testimony. Is that what you are asking for?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    And, to be fair, the committee has yet to identify with any specificity what it is seeking. You know as well as I do that subpoenas aren’t carte blanche fishing expedition orders.

    It seems pretty clear, at least from all of the information that has thus far been presented, that this was a fiasco largely, if not completely, operationally controlled by the Phoenix ATF field office, with only tangential (at best) involvement from DC.

    There is, of course, no political value to be mined from poking around in some backwater field office. if it can’t be tied to DC on a direct involvement and control basis, then it’s useless from a political perspective, hence the overly broad nature of the subpoenas being issued.

    Issa seems to be doing his best to connect dots between Phoenix and DC (whether those dots exist or not). Call me crazy, but demanding internal communications is where we begin to approach an unacceptable line.

    When we consider that Issa’ s committee obviously can’t substantiate perjury, has no real power to compel compliance with its subpoenas in the wake of EP being invoked, and the very real time of death horizon that this investigation is rapidly closing on, it starts to smell more and more like political theater.

    Just as it was for the Dems re: Gonzales and just as it was for the Pubs re: Reno. This sort of reality TV theatrics has become what passes for good governance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. anjin-san says:

    In other words, they’ve been caught TWICE lying on this matter.

    Finally, Jenos is commenting on a subject he knows something about…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. Tlaloc says:

    Well that didn’t last long, today Issa says it goes all the way to the president:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77824.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. al-Ameda says:

    @Tlaloc:

    Well that didn’t last long, today Issa says it goes all the way to the president:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77824.html

    Issa is a sleazebag. He personally funded the recall of Governor davis in 2003, and he had the expectation that the state GOP would install him as the governor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. crs52 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    I found one of your last lines”…unaware of a major breach of security occurring within their ranks.” very telling. That could very well have everything to do with it, considering the number of Bush/Cheney operatives stil there. You must know the degree to which the DOJ was gutted and politicized under Bush-didn’t you write about the judicial vacancy problem?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0