Wednesday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) released a 250-plus page report detailing Obama’s Department of Justice’s (DOJ) obstruction under Attorney General Eric Holder of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious and the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
The report highlights key documents and communications concerning the Obama/Holder DOJ’s stonewalling of Congress and makes it crystal clear why Eric Holder became the only U.S. Attorney General held in both criminal and civil contempt.
Key takeaways from the report include:
- DOJ viewed the Terry family as a public relations nuisance – Page 76: “It is what we will have to expect from this woman (sic) and Terry’s brother for the rest of the case.” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Evans in response to a news clipping where Brian Terry’s stepmother pleads for answers.
- The Justice Department’s internal probe was largely a sham, and it prioritized politics and spin over public safety – Page 82: “Based on my conversation yesterday with the AUSA and Crim Chief, and based on prior conversations with Dennis Burke and with the ATF SAC, this investigation was conducted – and the decisions about when to seize guns were made – thoughtfully, carefully, and strategically” – Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein to a group of senior Justice Department officials on February 26, 2011, describing the extraordinarily limited scope of the Department’s internal investigation at that point.
- Documents show Attorney General Holder managed key aspects of the Department’s responses to Congress and to media inquiries rather than focusing on managing DOJ’s law enforcement components. There are no documents to demonstrate the Attorney General ever devised a strategy to track down the more than 2,000 firearms lost along the Southwest border. Nor are there any documents to demonstrate the Attorney General coordinated assistance for the Terry family. Instead, documents show Attorney General Holder absorbed in only the political implications of the various milestone events throughout 2011:
- Page 201 – “The AG wants both of you to stick around after the [daily staff meeting] each day to discuss the status of the ATF matter.” – Chief of Staff Gary Grindler email to Associate Deputy Attorney General Steve Reich and DOJ Office of Public Affairs Deputy Director Tracy Schmaler.
- Page 205 – “Hit back HARD” – Attorney General Holder in response to The Washington Post’s coverage.
- Page 225 – “I don’t want to jinx it but it really is astounding that the plan worked – so far.” – Deputy Attorney General James Cole in an email to Attorney General Holder.
- Page 237 – “‘Holder briefed’!!!??? Scream at her.” – Attorney General Holder to Tracy Schmaler in response to coverage by CBS News
- DOJ demonstrated a complete disregard for proper congressional oversight:
- Page 116 – “Much more likely it’s the reverse: we’ll provide only some and withhold a substantial number, and they concern not just the murder investigation but also the longstanding Fast and Furious investigation.” – DOJ Office of Legal Counsel Special Counsel Paul Colborn in an email discussing how DOJ would respond to requests from Congress.
- Page 167 – “But there are important reasons for not giving Grassley everything he is asking for: it would embolden him in future fights and would ‘use up’ a lot of the material that we will eventually need to release to Issa . . . as the oversight struggle continues.” – Office of Legislative Affairs Assistant Attorney General Ron Welch in an email to DOJ colleagues.
And what did the biased media wing of the Democrats party have to say about this real news of obstruction? Nothing. They were too focused on their never ending fake news coverage of phony Trump investigations and Phony Trump obstruction stories to report about a real news story of actual obstruction.
Only a few news outlets such as Fox News, covered it. On Special Report Bret Baier called the report absolutely blistering. And William Lajeunesse detailed Holder’s obstruction:
BRET BAIER: An absolutely blistering report tonight out saying the Obama administration in general and former Attorney General Eric Holder in particular repeatedly lied to the family of a slain Border Patrol officer about the weapons used in his death, and stonewalled efforts to get at the truth. Correspondent William La Jeunesse tonight on Operation Fast and Furious. . . .
WILLIAM LAJEUNESSE: Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in December 2010, killed by guns tied to an Obama administration plan that armed Mexicans. A scandal officials tried to hide by wrongly claiming executive privilege. . . .
LAJEUNESSE: Emails contained in the House Oversight Committee’s report shows top officials knew the ATF sent guns to Mexico even before Terry’s death. “It’s a tricky case given the number of guns that have walked,” said a deputy attorney general. A colleague replied: “It’s not going to be any big surprise that a bunch of U.S. guns are being used in Mexico, so I’m not sure how much grief we get for guns walking.” Months later, two of those guns were used against agent Terry, a fact denied to Congress and Terry’s family.
And what became of Holder? The Democrat leaders of the California Legislature rewarded Holder by hiring him to represent them in their Resistance against Trump. Who better to lead a campaign of fake news, obstruction and obfuscation?
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