Capitol Hill meeting fails, Holder faces contempt of Congress charge
by CHUCK NEUBAUER, SEAN LENGELL
June 19, 2012
"At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee," he said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee who first began the Fast and Furious investigation after the Dec. 15, 2010, shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, said Mr. Holder sought to "trade a briefing and the promise of delivering some small, unspecified set of documents tomorrow for a free pass today.
"He wants to turn over only what he wants to turn over and not give us any information about what he´s not turning over. That´s unacceptable," he said. "I´m not going to buy a pig in a poke. Chairman Issa is right to move forward to seek answers about a disastrous government operation."
Terry was killed in a gunfight with bandits along the U.S.-Mexico border, south of Tucson. Two semi-automatic AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene of the killing later were traced to the Fast and Furious operation.
Mr. Issa said that while Tuesday was his deadline for getting the documents he wanted, the deadline was only a means to getting the documents and wasn't a hard deadline. But he added that, "We do have a markup scheduled for tomorrow and if we receive no documents, we'll go forward. If we receive documents, we'll evaluate them and we'll take such time as necessary in delay to be sure of the quality of these documents and whether they're sufficient.
"Their position is they'd like to give us a briefing, then documents supporting their assertion that essentially there was no wrong doing, and they bring it to a close," he said. "We need the documents, not the briefing. We need the documents to know whether or not he's being responsive to a paper request. We welcome the briefing once we've seen the documents.
"Ultimately, the attorney general is the custodian of the documents we wish to receive, and that's why the contempt cites him," he said. "We would hope that the president would ask his attorney general to be more cooperative. Thirty-one Democrats asked for more cooperation than we've gotten."