Fast and Furious: 113th Congress Rules Will Keep DOJ & Eric Holder Accountable


In case you might think the investigation into Fast and Furious is going away anytime soon, I'm here to reassure you that House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) isn't about to let that happen. Just before the new year, Representative Issa issued a statement in which he "praised the inclusion of special provisions in the proposed 113th Congress rules package that will keep in place legal obligations on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and others at the Justice Department as a result of lawful subpoenas issued in the 112th Congress."

“These provisions in the 113th Congress rules package ensure that the civil suit authorized by the House of Representatives with the support of twenty-one Democratic representatives will move forward,” said Issa. “The Justice Department has still not met its legal obligations to turn over documents showing why it waited ten months to formally retract false denials of reckless tactics in Operation Fast and Furious and why it failed to appropriately respond to whistleblower allegations. The new Congress will be steadfast in its commitment to getting the full truth about this reckless gunwalking effort that has been linked to murders on both sides of our border with Mexico.”

Thousands of pages of documents that had been subpoenaed by Issa's committee had yet to be turned over by the Obama Justice Department. Barack Obama invoked executive privilege in the matter pertaining to the documents. Eventually the House voted to hold Attorney General in contempt and when the deputy Attorney General said that he would not prosecute Eric Holder, the House set in motion a civil lawsuit against Holder, which the Obama Justice Department sought to dismiss.

The language of the rules package of the 113th Congress related to Operation Fast and Furious is as follows:

CONTINUING AUTHORITIES FOR THE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM AND THE OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL.—

(A) The House authorizes—

(i) the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 113th Congress to act as the successor in interest to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 112th Congress with respect to the civil action Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, United States House of Representatives v. Eric H. Holder, Jr., in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, filed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the 112th Congress pursuant to House Resolution 706; and

(ii) the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (when elected), on behalf of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Office of General Counsel to take such steps as may be appropriate to ensure continuation of such civil action, including amending the complaint as circumstances may warrant.

(B) The House authorizes the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (when elected), on behalf of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and until such committee has adopted rules pursuant to clause 2(a) of rule XI, to issue subpoenas related to the investigation into the United States Department of Justice operation known as ‘‘Fast and Furious’’ and related matters.

(C) The House authorizes the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (when elected), on behalf of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Office of General Counsel to petition to join as a party to the civil action referenced in paragraph (1), any individual subpoenaed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 112th Congress as part of its investigation into the United States Department of Justice operation known as ‘‘Fast and Furious’’ and related matters, or any successor to such individual, who failed to comply with such subpoena or, at the authorization of the Speaker after consultation with the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, to initiate judicial proceedings concerning the enforcement of subpoenas issued to such individuals.

(D) The House authorizes the chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (when elected), on behalf of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Office of General Counsel—

(i) to petition to join as a party to the civil action referenced in paragraph (1) any individual subpoenaed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 112th Congress as part of its investigation into the United States Department of Justice operation known as ‘‘Fast and Furious’’ and related matters who failed to comply with such subpoena, or any successor to such individual; and

(ii) at the authorization of the Speaker after consultation with the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, to initiate judicial proceedings concerning the enforcement of subpoenas issued to such individuals.

Now the question will be when will this get done in the midst of the numerous confirmations that have to be dealt with, the Benghazi hearings and the fight against more gun control legislation? At least Issa is attempting to keep the fires burning to smoke out the rats behind Fast and Furious and bring these people to justice.

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