The House Oversight Committee is pursuing another contempt of court charge, and possibly a daily monetary fine, and jail time for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder unless he complies with a court order to release certain Fast and Furious documents.
Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to fine Mr. Holder if he doesn’t comply with her own order issued back in August — the one where she said he couldn’t claim executive privilege to keep private certain documents related to the federal gun-running program, “Operation Fast and Furious,” Politico reported.
According to the Washington Times, lawyers for Republican congressman are saying “the time has come when the judge should consider imposing fines on Mr. Holder, or even throwing him in jail.”
“Should the Court determine that the Attorney General has violated that Order, the Court should impose on the Attorney General an appropriate penalty to coerce his compliance with the August 20 Order, including an escalating daily monetary fine against Eric H. Holder Jr., to be paid by Mr. Holder out of his personal assets, converting to incarceration if the payment of daily monetary fines does not produce compliance within a reasonable period of time,” House Counsel Kerry Kircher and other lawyers wrote in the filing, Politico reported.
A Justice Department spokesman seemed to characterize the October 1 deadline as a “stunt.”
Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said Thursday evening: “We’re at a loss to understand this latest stunt since the committee itself did not object to November as an appropriate timeline for the production of any documents. The Department will respond to the motion in due course.”
In a statement issued on Friday, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) disputed Fallon’s claim that his committee agreed to an extension.
“Contrary to the counterfactual claims of the Justice Department, the House did not agree to any deadline extension absent a ruling from the judge and in fact has asked the judge to enforce her order,” the chairman said. “The American people can only continue to guess at what the attorney general and his department are hiding.”
Issa also slammed Holder for failing to comply with “a binding federal court order.”
“The attorney general and his department are acting as if the judge in the case has an obligation to modify her rulings with which they disagree, rather than they having the obligation to comply with those rulings. That is the arrogance that landed this case in court in the first place.”
That same arrogance has led to rank lawlessness throughout the Holder Justice Department for the past five and a half years and counting.
The time has come for a reckoning.