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Old February 15, 2012, 11:45 PM   #2001
alan
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Al Norris wrote:

Doesn't matter.

Congressman Issa directly challenged Holder. Issa blinked.

The letter merely confirms that this is all partisan political pandering.

---------------------------

The saddest part of the thing is that Al Norris might be all too right, which leaves the political types pandering, while the people, the vast majority of whom are honest citizens, get screwed over, and over and over.
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Old February 16, 2012, 12:08 AM   #2002
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Even if the House voted to issue a contempt citation, it would go nowhere because DOJ enforces them (discussed here before). It would also raise serious constitutional problems because of separation of powers. It was maybe three years ago or so where DOJ searched the office a crooked Congressman and the courts suppressed the evidence because of the separation of powers issue. My memory on this is a bit hazy but that was the gist of the problem.
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Old February 16, 2012, 12:38 AM   #2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Norris
Congressman Issa directly challenged Holder. Issa blinked.
Issa may have technically had no choice. A violation of the contempt statute, 2 USC § 192, involves "willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question." Even though we all believe Holder is slow-walking document production, his formal request for a bit more time might be enough to avoid being guilty of a willful default ("I was trying, but just needed more time.").
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Old February 16, 2012, 09:39 AM   #2004
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Quote:
Even if the House voted to issue a contempt citation, it would go nowhere because DOJ enforces them (discussed here before). It would also raise serious constitutional problems because of separation of powers. It was maybe three years ago or so where DOJ searched the office a crooked Congressman and the courts suppressed the evidence because of the separation of powers issue. My memory on this is a bit hazy but that was the gist of the problem.
That's true for a criminal Contempt charge. They could also go civil with it, and I believe the Sergeant at Arms of the House would enforce it.
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:19 PM   #2005
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That's true for a criminal Contempt charge. They could also go civil with it, and I believe the Sergeant at Arms of the House would enforce it.
I am not so sure about that. He is more like head Praetorian Guard.

The house would have the chief counsel (someone like Jay Sekulow) to take responsibility for the delivery of the subpoena. He would give it to a process server, unless he delighted in doing such things himself. The house can serve this without the DOJ as they can appoint independent prosecutors etc.

What they would do if they failed to comply is anyone's guess. They have not complied so far. No one in the executive seems even the slightest interest in enforcing the law and punishing those responsible for breaking it. Selling guns to drug dealers is apparently ok.
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:32 PM   #2006
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Quote:
The house can serve this without the DOJ as they can appoint independent prosecutors etc.
Can they? First I've ever heard of this. That seems to be a function of the Executive Branch.
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:48 PM   #2007
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KyJim, you are correct. The House has no authority to appoint a prosecutor. It can o ly request that DOJ do so (as if). There is currently no special prosecutor statute on the books, and to enact another one would require approval by both houses of Congress and a presidential siggy. Can you say un-bloody likely?
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:14 PM   #2008
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There are three forms of contempt actions that can be taken by Congress:
  1. Inherent contempt - the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House or Senate arrests the accused, who is tried before the house of Congress that issued the contempt citation;
  2. Statutory contempt - 2 USC 192 provides that the contempt citation is forwarded to the US Attorney who has a 'duty' to present it to a grand jury, and;
  3. Civil contempt - the House or Senate files a civil lawsuit against the accused.
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Old February 16, 2012, 05:25 PM   #2009
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Reading the Sipsey Street Irregulars occasionally throughout this story, as a source of fresh information, I wonder if the recent rumors suggesting that Boehner may be stalling the investigation for a politically motivated fall impeachment of Holder carry any weight.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:17 PM   #2010
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KyJim:

If memory serves, it doesn't always, note the following:

1. It was the FBI that searched the congressman's office, finding $90,000 or so in a refer.

2. I believe the congressman, from Louisiana, went to jail.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:20 PM   #2011
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gc70:

How much is that "bit more time", and when does "slow walking" cross the line between contempt and non "contemptuous" stalling, or whatever else might be charged?
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:26 PM   #2012
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My bad. I forgot that the Office of the Independent Council is no more.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:32 PM   #2013
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Quote:
KyJim:

If memory serves, it doesn't always, note the following:

1. It was the FBI that searched the congressman's office, finding $90,000 or so in a refer.

2. I believe the congressman, from Louisiana, went to jail.
The cash was found in his refer at home, hence the nickname "Cold Cash" Jefferson. It was FBI and what they found in the office helped send the...gentleman...to jail.

Unlike Alcee Hastings, the law is such that Jefferson cannot run for another office due to a felony conviction. Hastings, a current member of Congress, was convicted of bribery while a judge...a federal judge, IIRC, but maybe just a state jurist. He was defrocked, but ran for Congress and was elected. He might be more useful to his sponsors in Congress than on the bench, but I speculate.

Not sure about Jefferson's whereabouts these days.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:47 PM   #2014
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Jefferson has still not served any time of his 9 year conviction. Ridiculous.
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Old February 16, 2012, 07:50 PM   #2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan
How much is that "bit more time", and when does "slow walking" cross the line between contempt and non "contemptuous" stalling, or whatever else might be charged?
alan, I don't know the answers to your questions. But if I were charged with contempt under 2 USC 192, the first element of my defense would be that I did not "willfully" fail to produce documents.

I trust that Issa has much better legal information and counsel on the subject of Congressional contempt charges than most, or any, of us on TFL.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:59 AM   #2016
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gc70 Quote:
Originally Posted by alan
How much is that "bit more time", and when does "slow walking" cross the line between contempt and non "contemptuous" stalling, or whatever else might be charged?

alan, I don't know the answers to your questions. But if I were charged with contempt under 2 USC 192, the first element of my defense would be that I did not "willfully" fail to produce documents.

I trust that Issa has much better legal information and counsel on the subject of Congressional contempt charges than most, or any, of us on TFL.

------------------------

Re your last, I would most certainly hope so, but then ...?
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Old February 17, 2012, 01:05 AM   #2017
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HarrySchell
Senior Member wrote, quoting yours truly,


Join Date: March 30, 2007
Location: South CA
Posts: 353 Quote:
KyJim:

If memory serves, it doesn't always, note the following:

1. It was the FBI that searched the congressman's office, finding $90,000 or so in a refer.

2. I believe the congressman, from Louisiana, went to jail.

-----------------------------


The cash was found in his refer at home, hence the nickname "Cold Cash" Jefferson. It was FBI and what they found in the office helped send the...gentleman...to jail.

Unlike Alcee Hastings, the law is such that Jefferson cannot run for another office due to a felony conviction. Hastings, a current member of Congress, was convicted of bribery while a judge...a federal judge, IIRC, but maybe just a state jurist. He was defrocked, but ran for Congress and was elected. He might be more useful to his sponsors in Congress than on the bench, but I speculate.

Not sure about Jefferson's whereabouts these days.
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Mr. Hastings was, I believe, a federal judge. Former U.S.S. Arlen Specter was involved in his impeachment, as I recall. As for Jefferson, another poster offered the following:

mayosligo writes:

Jefferson has still not served any time of his 9 year conviction. Ridiculous.
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Old February 17, 2012, 09:10 AM   #2018
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I think we all watched as Emily Miller (senior editor of the opinion page at Washington Times) got her gun!

Now she has opined on Obama's new budget recently submitted to Congress:

MILLER: Obama’s fast and furious spin

Quote:
President Obama is using his budget to advance an anti-gun agenda just before the election. One particularly sneaky provision buried deep within his submission to Congress Monday would, if enacted, allow the mistakes of the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal to be repeated.

MORE
Essentially, buried within the budget is language to repeal the prohibition of using founds to walk guns, that was passed in the Oct. budget, passed last year.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:45 PM   #2019
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Did a little Google-Fu. As a couple have mentioned, the FBI did search Jefferson's Congressional offices (not where the cash was found) and seized documents and records. Jefferson, with support from members of Congress, asked the court to suppress the search, citing the Speech and Debate Clause and separation of power. The district court denied the motion and upheld the search. Jefferson was later convicted.

Thanks for helping me sort that out in my mind.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:49 PM   #2020
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Essentially, buried within the budget is language to repeal the prohibition of using founds to walk guns, that was passed in the Oct. budget, passed last year.
It would also allow scrapping of surplus M1 Garands and melting down spent military brass which is used by reputable re-loaders. But that's off-topic.
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Old February 17, 2012, 12:55 PM   #2021
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DOJ received Rosemary Award for worst open govt performance

This week the Department of Justice received the Rosemary Award for worst open government performance. The award, named after Rosemary Woods, Richard Nixon's secretary who infamously took the fall for a 17 1/2 minute gap in a key Watergate tape, is given annually by the George Washington University National Security Archive.

Great accomplishment for Eric Holder...


http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...SER_story.html
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Old February 17, 2012, 01:05 PM   #2022
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Essentially, buried within the budget is language to repeal the prohibition of using founds to walk guns, that was passed in the Oct. budget, passed last year.
Hmmm, so President Obama, AG Holder, Lanny Breuer, Dennis Burke, the House Oversight Committee, etc. - in short practically every person in the government, regardless of what branch of government or party has said that gun walking is fatally flawed, horrible practice that should never, ever happen...

Yet someone decided to strip the law that forbids it from happening again out of the proposed Presidential budget? Who did that? Gnomes?
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Old February 17, 2012, 01:20 PM   #2023
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Janet Napolitano questioned about Fast & Furious and the death of agent Zapata

The hearing on President Obama’s 2013 proposed budget for the Department of Homeland Security turned into an inquiry about Fast & Furious and specifically about Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata's murder.


http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012...ous-gun-sting/

One of the things that bothers me about her "mistakes were made" comments is that on her first trip to the Hill, she said she knew almost nothing of Fast & Furious, didn't talk to Eric Holder about it, Eric Holder didn't talk to her...

According to her, no one from DEA, FBI, or ATF talked to her.

She was like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes

But now she knows enough about it to say "mistakes were made" and insinuate that it's time to move on...

And if mistakes were really made, should the budget try to repeal the prohibition of using funds to walk guns?

Last edited by C0untZer0; February 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM.
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Old February 17, 2012, 01:56 PM   #2024
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Moved to Obama's Anti-Gun Budget Bill thread.

Last edited by gc70; February 17, 2012 at 09:13 PM.
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Old February 17, 2012, 03:24 PM   #2025
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Alloy

"I wonder if the recent rumors suggesting that Boehner may be stalling the investigation for a politically motivated fall impeachment of Holder carry any weight. "

On another forum I saw a good piece that asserts that Boehner has reached a deal with administration for use F&F as an election tool, but to not enforce the subpeona, and that is why Issa has not filed contempt charges.

I don't know the validity of the argument, but the writer urged all to write to Boehner objecting to the deal. It was well written and seemed plausible. I hope it is not.
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