Holder in the Hot Seat

Posted: Jun 07, 2012 6:40 AM

Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the House Judiciary Committee today for a hearing on Justice Department Oversight. He is guaranteed to be asked questions about the latest information about the lethal Operation Fast and Furious scandal. Earlier this week, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, who also sits on the Judiciary Committee, released new information about six wiretap applications approved by senior level DOJ officials, including Holder's second in command Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. According to Issa, these wiretap applications contain detailed information about Fast and Furious gunwalking tactics, tactics senior DOJ officials have denied repeatedly to know about while the operation was active throughout 2010. The new wiretap information calls into question not only Breuer's statements under oath that he was unaware of gunwalking tactics used during Fast and Furious, but also calls into question Holder's knowledge and defense of his senior officials "not knowing" as well.

"The wiretap applications show that immense detail about questionable investigative tactics was available to the senior officials who reviewed and authorized them. The close involvement of these officials - much greater than previously known- is shocking. These six applications were approved by senior Justice Department officials in March, April, June and July 2010. Each application included a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer to Paul M. O'Brien, Director, Office of Enforcement Operations, authorizing the wiretap applications on behalf of the Attorney General. The memorandum from Breuer are marked specifically for the attention of Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor for Operation Fast and Furious," Issa wrote in a letter to Holder while slamming senior Department officials for not taking "public safety into account when they approved the wiretap applications."

Today will be the eighth time Holder has appeared before Congress to answer questions about Operation Fast and Furious. Stay tuned to Townhall for coverage.

UPDATE I: While Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa was attempting to ask Holder serious questions about Operation Fast and Furious, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Mel Watt turned the hearing into a circus by running cover for Holder, wasting time and creating distractions.

UPDATE II: Holder admitted during the hearing that there are not 80,000 Fast and Furious documents available, but 140,000 about the program. Issa has requested the 80,000 previously known about but DOJ has only submitted 7,000 of those documents to Congress.