Late yesterday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s office sent me an email with a copy of a letter the Congressman had sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on December 15 — a letter to which the A.G. has yet to respond. In it, Issa informs Holder that the Committee would like him to appear for more testimony on January 24, 2012.
In other words, Fast and Furious isn’t going away any time soon.
The hearing will examine flaws in the management structure of the Justice Department as demonstrated in the genesis and implementation of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious. Specifically, the hearing will focus on what senior Department officials could and should have done to put a stop to this reckless program, as well as the specific areas where failures in communication and management occurred.
As those of you who watched the hearings on December 8th certainly noticed, Holder isn’t a big fan of the way Issa deals with him.
For example, while other Congressman–specifically Democrats–were fawning all over Holder in December, Issa’s demeanor clearly demonstrated that he was sick and tired of Holder’s obfuscation and, dare I say, out and out lies. That’s why I love the fact that Issa’s recent letter pulls no punches. In black and white for all to see, Issa asserts there were “flaws in the management structure of the Justice Department,” as it pertained to Fast and Furious. Moreover, he makes it clear that the January hearing will focus on how those flaws “could and should” have been averted.
I continue to be an Issa fan because he won’t back down–and he shouldn’t.
Making his point clear, Issa added: “The Department’s February 4, 2011, letter to Congress will be but one example of these failures in management.” In other words, one of the things that will get special attention on January 24th is the fact that the DOJ submitted a letter to Congress on Feb. 4 that was so misleading so full of errors that it had to be withdrawn. (Again, you’ll remember from the December 8th hearings that Issa said to Holder: “It is unheard of for letters or testimony to be taken back.”)
On the 8th Issa also said of Fast and Furious: “Brian Terry is dead today because of this program.” And if for no other reason than that, I hope the Honorable Congressman keeps Holder’s feet to the fire.