GOP Rep. Darrel Issa has been hounding Holder relentlessly for the last 15 months, basucally wanting every piece of paper that ever had anything to do with the Justice Department programs on anything (which threatens a number of ongoing Justice department investigations) and is now threatening contempt of Congress charges for Holder for not producing documents quickly enough. Issa's latest move is a draft memo of the contempt citation he says he will issue in full unless Holder immediately "complies".
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) on Thursday released a draft memo laying out the case for holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for producing a “small fraction” of the documents they requested as part of their investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.
The Justice Department, the memo asserted, “has issued false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts.”
Issa said in a statement that the draft contempt report “explains the case, to both Members of the Committee and the American people, for holding Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress” and “provides the facts, on which decisions will be made.”
A Justice Department official told TPM that DOJ continues to comply with the Oversight Committee’s requests and said the information it has not released is the type that is historically not released because it would politicized and jeopardize ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions. That position, according to DOJ, is backed by an Office of Legal Counsel memo authored by President Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department that asserted turning over such documents would allow Congress to “exert pressure or attempt to influence the prosecution of criminal cases.”
Yeah, that's correct: Holder is issuing the Reagan-era Iran-Contra defense. Issa has held over half a dozen hearings on this, looking for a scandal, and has yet to find anything (hence the impossible request for information and the contempt threats.) Now he's trying to make a scandal out of the "coverup". But hey, it's an election year, and the Democrats have to be punished for not being Republicans.
We'll see how far Issa is willing to go.