Lawmakers Express Concern with Holder Leadership during Hearing
by JIM KOURI, CPP
June 12, 2012
Following the testimony of Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith expressed concern with Holder's leadership of the Justice Department and the Obama administration's efforts to impose a partisan agenda on the American people.
The chairman of House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), grilled Attorney General Holder at the hearing in Washington, D.C. about whether White House officials were aware of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF's) Operation Fast & Furious, which contributed to the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The Attorney General appeared before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing on the Justice Department's activities. Outstanding questions surrounding the controversial ATF operation that allowed guns to be purchased in the U.S. and trafficked to Mexico dominated the Committee's discussion.
"For the past three and half years, this Administration has engaged in a pattern of obstructionism, unaccountability, and partisanship. The Administration's actions aren't just wrong--they are arrogant, undemocratic, and an insult to the rule of law. The American people should have confidence that the Department of Justice fairly enforces laws. That confidence is lacking today," said Rep. Smith.
In April, Chairman Smith issued a report on the Justice Department's disregard for the Constitution and rule of law.
"The report outlines high profile examples of how the Justice Department has ignored the Constitution in order to impose the Administration's partisan agenda on the American people. From blocking investigations of Operation Fast & Furious and Justice Elena Kagan's involvement in Obamacare to refusing to enforce and defend certain laws, the Attorney General has allowed a partisan agenda to guide the Justice Department's decisions," said Chairman Smith.
Congressional Republicans and their investigators have been probing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF's) Fast and Furious "Gunwalker" scandal. Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been openly vocal about seeking a contempt citation against Holder.
The Oversight Committee's contempt resolution will require a full House vote and, if it passes, the Congressmen would probably look to the federal courts to enforce the citation.
Sources claim that Republican House staffers have moved slowly in building their case and in creating the motion to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress.
"All government officials are bound by the limits of the Constitution and the rule of law, including the President and the Attorney General. Unfortunately, this Administration continues to put a partisan agenda ahead of the Constitution and the rule of law," Congressman Issa said.
The high profile examples currently under investigation are: Stalling Investigation of Operation Fast & Furious; Failing to Enforce Immigration Laws; Challenging Voter ID Laws; Blocking Congressional Inquiries;
Refusing to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act; Ignoring the Constitution's Limited Recess Appointment Power.
"Beginning with the Attorney General's refusal to prosecute members of the radical group the New Black Panther Party for their flagrant voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential election right through to the recent DOJ ignoring of the Black Panthers placing a bounty on the head of Robert Zimmerman, the suspect in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, the Justice Department has walked a thin line between disinterest and racism," said former police lieutenant George Harley, himself an African American police official.
"Of all agencies in the federal government, the Justice Department, because of the great power it holds over Americans' Constitutional rights, should not impose their own partisan agenda. Unfortunately, under the Obama Administration, the Justice Department has become more partisan than ever," the report states.
"Rather than fulfilling the Attorney General's oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States' and the President's Constitutional responsibility to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed,' the Justice Department in the Obama Administration, under the leadership of Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., has repeatedly put its partisan agenda ahead of its Constitutional duties.
The pattern of pushing partisan ideology rather than neutrally enforcing the law began nearly as soon as the Administration took office and has continued unabated since," according to the committee report.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com, a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, and more. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us