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Old October 11, 2011, 08:46 PM   #1326
csmsss
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I found Issa's letter astounding. The gloves are off, he's not gonna stand for any more spin or BS. He's going for the throat, no doubt about it, and blood will soak the floors of the DOJ.
I don't see it quite that way. The "gloves are off", perhaps, but perhaps that's only because he sees that he's checkmated. Why are Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell utterly silent on the matter? Rep. Cantor is nowhere to be found. In fact, there are exactly two Congressmen who have shown more than a passing interest in this matter - Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley. As the headlines of today reveal, the Administration is clearly capable of generating instant headlines anytime the temperature on F&F rises more than a degree or two, and entirely swamping any public interest in the matter.

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Let's not be too impatient about this. It's a long way to November 2012, and there are lots of cutouts between DOJ and the Oval Office. Develop this case slowly, carefully, and work it up to the top, and there's little doubt that it could well put the final nails into the coffin of the Obama presidency. But it takes time to get the details right, time to grind down the guys who might be persuaded to "take one for the Team", and time to get this to the peak some time in late October 2012, where it will do the most good.
You call it a case, but it isn't a case. There is no prosecutor, and never will be. There won't be impeachment hearings, nor criminal prosecutions (at least not at a senior level, though we may see a few smaller fish fry just for public consumption), and there is no mechanism to force any of this to a head.

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I was surprised at the level of ignorance surrounding this in the attention of the general public
Why? The public is neither scholarly on issues constitutional, nor captivated by them at a time the economy continues to tailspin.

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but I see it as a good thing.
Why? Public opinion on a somewhat abstract issue like this is not something you can just gen up without an exceptionally accommodating press corps.

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Having this peak too soon will give the O Team too much time to downplay it, spin it away, or come up with some kind of useful crisis to divert peoples' attention.
They've proven the ability to generate these crises each time the need arises. Witness today's headlines.

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But to my mind, this is a lot more damaging than some DNA on a dress. Dalliance between consenting adults is not a crime, despite what a Republican congress would like to think. But aiding and abetting an operation that took American LEO lives, as well as a concerted campaign of lies which will ultimately be shown to be an attempt at back-door gun control by media spin, and which will eventually be walked back to the White House, is a much bigger deal.
In realpolitik terms, it matters not in the least if you aren't able to bring this to court. And there is no realistic scenario that results in any of the Obama administration being brought forth on criminal charges. As long as Holder and Obama are determined to ride the storm out, they will do so. And the Obama administration has proven itself, time and again, to be more than a match for the R's when it comes to the Machiavellian world of Washington politics.

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Did the President know and approve of this? We don't know, yet. But Issa will find out. He's no fool, and he knows how much damage this can do, and just how to ensure that that damage is done, at the most effective time.
What he knew, or didn't know, and what he authorized, or didn't authorize, is essentially irrelevant. He wouldn't be so stupid as to sign anything or have any traceable communications on the matter. Issa can hire a stadium full of Sherlock Holmes-alikes, but they're not going to find anything directly linking the President to any of this.

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Don't you just love politics? A game without rules, for all the marbles.
No. It's repugnant and nauseating. It cheapens principles into slogans, and debases everything and everyone it touches.
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Old October 11, 2011, 08:52 PM   #1327
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Let's not be too impatient about this. It's a long way to November 2012, and there are lots of cutouts between DOJ and the Oval Office. Develop this case slowly, carefully, and work it up to the top, and there's little doubt that it could well put the final nails into the coffin of the Obama presidency.
I dissagree with this kind of thinking Bob.

I think the issues here shoudl supercede mere politics. An entire agency of the federal government conspired against the American people.

Yes - the agency became embroiled in politics - the politics of gun control. But the issue that they did insert themselves in politics is larger than mere politics. It's like if the Republican party used the CIA to dig up dirt on members of the Democratic party.

That stuff happens in the Middle East and South America all the time - but for something like F&F to happen in America is unacceptable - it is a game changer. It is groundbreaking in it's nature.

That is what I want brought to light - so no other agency ever gets involved in anything like this again, so no other administration - Repiblican, Democrat, Independent - ever attempts to use an an agency (any agency) like this ever again.

To me the importance of bringing to light how a bureau conspired against the American people. It transcends the presidential election.
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Old October 11, 2011, 09:23 PM   #1328
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Originally Posted by alloy
any odds on Issa holding some crucial hole card to either elicit or prove perjury?
Of course Issa has something he is not showing, which will make it harder for Holder to spin his testimony without stepping into a perjury minefield.

I will become very interested when Issa begins pursuing the nature of the DEA and FBI involvement in Fast and Furious. Holder can spin all of the tales he wants about a misguided practice in one ATF office, but getting cooperation from multiple agencies requires instructions from someone in a position of higher authority.
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Old October 11, 2011, 09:25 PM   #1329
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Just curious - what mechanism is it that will force Holder to return to the committee and testify?
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Old October 11, 2011, 09:46 PM   #1330
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Issa already admitted he doesn't have the power to imprison if they refuse a Congressional subpoena. I have no idea what would happen, but if Holder publically refuses, and gets away with it, Congressional power would take a major kick in the teeth, and Congressional committees like this one might become meaningless circuses. Maybe they can take his funding away from his personal office/staff, etc.
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Old October 11, 2011, 09:53 PM   #1331
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Why can't the House send the Sgt at Arms to arrest holder and throw him in jail for civil contempt until he either complies or Congress recesses? Is it a separation of powers thing?
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Old October 11, 2011, 10:01 PM   #1332
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Why can't the House send the Sgt at Arms to arrest holder and throw him in jail for civil contempt until he either complies or Congress recesses?
Now yer talkin'! Sgt at Arms is supposed to be over DCPD, or something like that, as I recall. I may be way off base, anybody know for sure?
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Old October 11, 2011, 10:05 PM   #1333
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To me the importance of bringing to light how a bureau conspired against the American people. It transcends the presidential election.
Absolutely! I think people get too wrapped up along party lines. Wrong is wrong, regardless of political affiliation.

I personally know of things that would shock you that happened under multiple administrations that not one word of ever made it into the public eye. This is just one of the rare ones that could not be completely contained. If you want containment it is best to make it a military operation.
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Old October 11, 2011, 10:05 PM   #1334
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Of course Issa has something he is not showing, which will make it harder for Holder to spin his testimony without stepping into a perjury minefield. ~ gc70
That's how it looks.
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Old October 11, 2011, 10:25 PM   #1335
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Just curious - what mechanism is it that will force Holder to return to the committee and testify?
Interesting reading in the Congressional Research Service's Congressional Oversight Manual. Subpoena powers are discussed starting on page # 28 and contempt powers are discussed starting on page # 33.

In short, if someone does not respond to a Congressional subpoena, they can be subject to proceedings for inherent contempt, criminal (statutory) contempt, or civil contempt. In inherent contempt, the Sergeant-at-Arms does bring the person to Congress, where they are tried and are subject to imprisonment to the end of that term of Congress. In criminal contempt, a statute requires a U.S. Attorney to bring the contempt charge before a grand jury; the law provides for a fine up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison. Civil contempt involves suing the person in court.
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Old October 11, 2011, 10:39 PM   #1336
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Originally Posted by armoredman
I have no idea what would happen, but if Holder publically refuses, and gets away with it, Congressional power would take a major kick in the teeth, and Congressional committees like this one might become meaningless circuses.
If Holder simply refused a Congressional subpoena -and fought contempt proceedings- it would precipitate a constitutional crisis. In a full-out struggle between the executive and legislative branches of government, the Democrats would side with the Republicans to preserve the powers of Congress. The Democrats may like Holder, but they like their powers even more.
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Old October 12, 2011, 12:16 AM   #1337
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"I think the issues here shoudl supercede mere politics. An entire agency of the federal government conspired against the American people.

Yes - the agency became embroiled in politics - the politics of gun control. But the issue that they did insert themselves in politics is larger than mere politics. It's like if the Republican party used the CIA to dig up dirt on members of the Democratic party.

That stuff happens in the Middle East and South America all the time - but for something like F&F to happen in America is unacceptable - it is a game changer. It is groundbreaking in it's nature.

That is what I want brought to light - so no other agency ever gets involved in anything like this again, so no other administration - Repiblican, Democrat, Independent - ever attempts to use an an agency (any agency) like this ever again.

To me the importance of bringing to light how a bureau conspired against the American people. It transcends the presidential election. "

I'd like to point out that the Nixon White House did in fact use the CIA, as well as the IRS, against the American people.

The outcry was pretty strong, and ended up in doing a very negative number on the CIA, handicapping its operations to a remarkable degree. While it's none too pretty, this sort of thing [I]does[I] go on in American politics. So does the use of the US military to distract from political problems at home. The Reagan invasion of Grenada was one such.

The stupid waste of our soldiers' lives as politicians succumb to the pressures of their jobs is far from pretty. For example, there was absolutely no reason that we left 238 Marines in a nearly indefensible position in Lebanon, where a truck bomber could blow them to bits. There was little enough reason for them to be there in the first place, and leaving them as targets of opportunity was pointless.

As the Reagan administration needed a legal way to finance opposition to the Nicaraguan Contras, we kissed Iranian butt to get them to provide financing that the White House was unable to provide legally. Needless to say, it came out, but was spun into the ground. No one was impeached, Ollie North was never charged with treason for giving aid and comfort to our enemies the Iranians, and today only grumpy old men remember any of it.

Damn straight it's a game without rules. And it's revolting. And it's business as usual, time after time. I'd like to see the Obama mob busted for this, because aside from everything else, they are not doing good for this country. But please don't think that their actions are any worse than what has been perpetrated by their predecessors, of both parties.
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Old October 12, 2011, 06:16 AM   #1338
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In short, if someone does not respond to a Congressional subpoena, they can be subject to proceedings for inherent contempt, criminal (statutory) contempt, or civil contempt. In inherent contempt, the Sergeant-at-Arms does bring the person to Congress, where they are tried and are subject to imprisonment to the end of that term of Congress. In criminal contempt, a statute requires a U.S. Attorney to bring the contempt charge before a grand jury; the law provides for a fine up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison. Civil contempt involves suing the person in court.
All of that is true. However, it does not speak to the issue at hand. Congress has no independent law enforcement authority with the power to arrest, indict, etc. All federal law enforcement authority exists as a function of the executive branch. In other words, Congress is utterly impotent against an executive branch determined to resist it.
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:12 AM   #1339
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Can we start a separate thread about the authority of Congress to enforce any action against Holder? I think we all understand by page 54 of this thread that csmsss is skeptical that they have any authority; but I don't understand the point of continually rehashing that argument every 3 pages.
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Old October 12, 2011, 09:52 AM   #1340
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Have it Bart with a note in the OP saying that this is an acceptable branch.

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Old October 12, 2011, 11:12 AM   #1341
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Well folks, CNN finally has put this on the front page of their web site. The subpoenas have been issued. Time to see how this is gonna play out.

From CNN.com:
http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/12...obe/?hpt=hp_t2
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Old October 12, 2011, 12:54 PM   #1342
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Jamie Dupree of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has parsed the subpoena and listed the specific demands made of the Attorney General's office:

http://blogs.ajc.com/jamie-dupree-wa...ous-subpoenas/

I found the link on the Drudge Report - Matt Drudge is doing a good job aggregating links to sites with news on the subject.
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Old October 12, 2011, 02:04 PM   #1343
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WOW!!! That is lookin' like Issa just grabbed Holder by the short hairs sho-nuff!!!

So much for those all black "redacted" pages sent for "review" before...

SQUIRM WEASEL... SQUIRM!!!

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Old October 12, 2011, 08:28 PM   #1344
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That is one mountain of paperwork! Yet it is one very specific mountain.

Reading between the lines here: Issa is looking for specific corroboration of documents he already has. If this is the case, then somebodies goose is cooked.

Can you hear it?

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Old October 12, 2011, 08:42 PM   #1345
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Jamie Dupree of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has parsed the subpoena and listed the specific demands made of the Attorney General's office
I've followed Mr. Dupree for years, and I had the pleasure of meeting him once. The guy knows his stuff. I can't remember him ever making a political prediction that didn't come true, and if he's pushing this, it has legs.

Al, that picture has a real Team America vibe going...
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Old October 12, 2011, 08:54 PM   #1346
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I doubt it would matter if you had a hand written letter from the President admiting that he knew every detail and authorized everything. The senate will never impeach him, no matter what.

On the other hand my holder may be looking at a new (to him) type of federal vacation.. I dont believe for one minute he didnt know the details...
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Old October 12, 2011, 09:48 PM   #1347
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I don't think there's a snowball's chance in Hades that DOJ is going to fully comply with the subpoena. They'll claim it will endanger ongoing criminal cases and investigations and endanger national security. DOJ will say they are complying but then won't. They'll try to turn it into an attack on Issa, et al.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:10 PM   #1348
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Tom, I've been holding back on posting it (first saw it at CalGuns), but this just seemed the appropriate time.....
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:28 PM   #1349
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DOJ will say they are complying but then won't. They'll try to turn it into an attack on Issa, et al.
That's already happened. At this point, I don't know how much more weaseling (if that's not a real word, I'm claiming it) they can do.

At some point, the Oval Office is going to have to do something.
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:44 PM   #1350
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Al Norris has it right. After some obligatory denials, obfuscations, recalcitrant disclosures, etc., the next sound will be BUMP-BUMP of the New Flyer wheels rolling over our hapless Eric Holder.

After which he'll get a partnership at Patton Boggs, or some other flagship law firm, a few postings to boards of directors of major corporations, maybe a post on MSNBC after a decent interval, and he'll die a very rich man.

Well, God promised us His justice wasn't for this world. Say a prayer for him.
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