A little-noticed brief filed last Thursday by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and fellow Democrats John Conyers, Jr., Henry A. Waxman, Edolphus Towns and Louise M. Slaughter, asks the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss without prejudice the civil complaint by the Oversight Committee against Eric Holder following the Attorney General being found in contempt of Congress for refusing to produce subpoenaed documents related to the Fast and Furious gunwalking investigation.
Characterizing the committee’s actions as a “rush toward unnecessary conflict” and referring to such litigation as “unnecessary and premature,” the petitioners ignore official stonewalling now measured in years, documented lies submitted to congressional investigators, and the deliberate indifference shown by Cummings and other Oversight Democrats when publicly asked to look into allegations of waste, abuse, corruption and fraud by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives management long before the public had ever heard about Fast and Furious. Had they provided such high-profile scrutiny, there is every possibility gunwalking attempts would not have been dared, and those killed as a result might still be alive.
That Cummings continues to abet the obscuring of administration responsibility is no surprise to long-time observers of the interference he has been running for them throughout the investigation. His minority report issued last January was widely seized by administration apologists as one that absolved Executive branch higher-ups of wrongdoing, even though it never explained why key personnel were pleading the Fifth, and why testimony from other pivotal players was being denied — from both Justice and the White House.
This latest action adds to an October motion by Holder to ask the court to bow out on the supposed grounds that it has no jurisdiction.
What the court will decide, and what the Oversight Committee’s options will be should those protecting the administration succeed, are unclear. What is clear are the priorities of powerful special interests, with justice for the victims of a program described as “Watergate with toe tags” not even rating a mention as those who value protecting their positions of power and privilege use every trick in the book to keep a lid on the story — with near-full cooperation from a supportive press.
Perhaps, over two years since news of walked guns being found at the murder scene of a Border Patrol agent were first reported, there are others who should be asked if the investigators are conducting a premature rush to judgment, and if Holder should be let off the hook. They might also be asked if they consider this latest move to be an attempt to sabotage their hopes for truth and justice to prevail.
Click here to read Cummings’ Memorandum Amici Curiae.
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