Holder Contempt Vote Set For Thursday
Mere hours after the Supreme Court issues the last opinions of its term, including a ruling on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the House of Representatives will vote on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt:
The House plans to vote Thursday on a resolution that would hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to produce documents in the “Fast and Furious” gun-running investigation.
A spokeswoman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) confirmed on Monday that the vote is scheduled for Thursday. Republicans have said the vote could be postponed if Holder complies with subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but President Obama has invoked executive privilege to shield Holder from releasing them.
Since this was announced last night, many observers have cited the timing as evidence the GOP is scheduling the vote to maximize the Administration’s headache’s on Thursday, and perhaps there’s some truth in that. The other way to look at it, though, is that they are scheduling it for a day when the news cycle is likely to be dominated by the Court’s decision in the ACA cases, and it’s likely that the next several days will be spent talking about the meaning and political implications of the Court’s decision. To some extent, the contempt vote will get buried in the news cycle. That will only last for so long since there will have to be follow up to the expected vote in favor of contempt, but for a few days at least the House’s vote will be out of the public mind, and that may just what Republican Leadership wants.
Let me make it easy for the Holder apologists: when would the timing of the contempt vote be acceptable to you? When would it not be “politically motivated?”
The permanent investigation must continue.
Interesting, it’s timed to coincide with the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Heath Care Act.
@al-Ameda: Yeah, if only those stupid partisan Republicans had settled for the first misleading statement… or the second… or recognized that the Attorney General has no obligation to obey subpoenas from Congress, and they should be glad that he gave them 1 out of 20 documents that they wanted.
Oh, and they’re racists, too, because the laws that apply to white Attorneys General don’t apply to black ones.
Holder is so far out there one actually finds one’s self longing for the days of Janet Reno.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
You seem obsessed with race, why?
I was wondering how long it would take Rep. Issa to do a 180 on what he said on Fox News Sunday, where I’m sure he regrets answering a direct question from Chris Wallace, instead of dodging it. On that show he responded that he had no evidence the White House was involved in the F&F decisions, no evidence they knowingly misled congress and no evidence of any sort of WH coverup.
Today he sent a letter to the President, though obviously it’s true intended audience was the media, where he accuses the WH of either being directly involved in F&F and then covering it up, or of simply being involved in a cover-up:
Of particular note is the fact that Issa is now directly perusing WH internal deliberations, perhaps trying to intentionally force further executive privilege invocations.
@al-Ameda: You seem obsessed with race, why?
I dunno, dude. Maybe I’m just making this up out of whole cloth or something.
@Jeremy R: Of particular note is the fact that Issa is now directly perusing WH internal deliberations, perhaps trying to intentionally force further executive privilege invocations.
Obama himself opened that door by invoking Executive Privilege, which only covers communications that directly involve the president. Issa’s just asking for the rationale for how Executive Privilege applies.
@al-Ameda: Honest. I’m just pulling this out of my butt.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I believe you. Unlike Mitt Romney, I think you’re telling the truth on this one. You won’t distancing yourself from your own remarks, will you?
@al-Ameda: You need to take your sarcasm detector into the shop. It’s seriously out of whack.
For the clue-impaired, if you follow the links in my “confessions,” you’ll see assertions from allegedly reputable people that this pressure on Holder is racially motivated.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Jeez, now I feel the way I felt when I learned that Mitt Romney does not believe in anything, which is … “oh, okay.”
@Jenos Idanian #13:
The Executive Privilege invocation only covers the subset of documents generated after February 4th, 2011. The internal documents concerning what Issa hyperbolically calls the DOJ “lying” have already been released.
The focus of this investigation was originally supposed to be the Phoenix ATF office’s operation that took place in 2009, but of course Rep. Issa happily used the DOJ’s correction letter as an excuse to start fishing into the DOJ (and now he’s using the EP invocation to stretch into the WH):
I suspect they decided that it would be better to claim EP when they did, rather than right after the House votes to hold Holder in contempt. The optics are a bit better.
House votes beingf quite predictable these days.
Either you’re right about the reason for Thursday, or it’s a whale of a coinky-dink.
Invoking EP takes certain enforcement options off of the table for Congress and drastically limits the degree to which it can compel production.
As far as I can see, inherent contempt is off the table. Criminal process with respect to the contempt citation is off the table. That leaves Congress with pursuing civil contempt, which takes forever (Miers and Bolten, just as examples), and this Congress expires in January.
I realistically see this going nowhere from an investigatory standpoint, but then again I’m still not entirely convinced that it wasn’t chiefly motivated by a political purpose (what isn’t where Congress is concerned these days?) to begin with.
My impression certainly is that it is politically motivated. The problem with all this is that it’s about running ops against vicious international crime cartels, and the DEA, at least, has moles in them. This creates an event horizon into the same sort black hole that covers spies. We, the public, are simply not able to see the whole deal.
This is a situation that can easily be used to make Holder appear to be obstructing things, and in fact it was revealed that Issa has subpoenaed things that he knows damn well Holder is barred by federal law from revealing. The subpoena was narrowed just a week ago, but it appeared to me a tactical move by Issa to “clean up his act” for the coming spotlight.
I suspect that at the judiciary hearing, Issa’s behavior…
caused the administration to decide they have had enough. This has gone on for a year (“That’s all we can takes and we can takes no more!” ) and as Ike said: “If you can’t solve a problem, enlarge it.” Declare EP. Blow this into the mainstream press. Bring the spotlight. Make our day.
I’ve watched or listened to all the hearings, yet all I can do is guess. There is so much that is only available to members of the committee that it’s impossible to do more.