For over a year, the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been trying to investigate the failed and botched federal gun walking program known as Operation Fast and Furious. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department has fought Issa every step of the way, trying to prevent the House committee from learning the truth about the program.
In June of this year, the House voted to hold Holder in criminal contempt of Congress for failing to abide by congressional subpoenas and refusing to provide requested documents. In an act of outright defiance and abuse of the law, Holder instructed Judge Ron Machen, U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C., to ignore the criminal contempt charge and do not enforce it. Additionally, President Barack Obama exerted his executive privilege to protect his top legal puppet and seal the documents that the House had subpoenaed.
This has prompted the House to file civil contempt charges against Holder. By filing this type of contempt lawsuit, they are asking a federal judge to overrule Obama’s executive privilege and force Holder to turn over the documents that the committee believes to be necessary to their investigations.
The question is, will a federal judge be willing to uphold the civil contempt charge and invalidate Obama’s executive privilege in the matter?
According to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) there is no legal ground for a federal judge to not uphold the contempt lawsuit. In an interview with The Daily Caller, Grassley said:
“Well, if he [a federal judge] doesn’t [overturn Obama’s executive privilege assertion], it’s going to be the most sweeping abuse of executive privilege in the history of executive privilege.”
Issa described Obama’s use of executive privilege in this case saying it means one of two things:
“Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the attorney general to the committee, or, you are asserting a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.”
I still contend that the House of Representatives needs to exercise their right to find Eric Holder guilty of ‘inherent contempt.’ By so doing, they would bypass the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C. They would have the right to issue punishment commensurate to the charges which would include sending him to jail. The last time the House used the inherent contempt charge was in 1934 in which they sent William P. MacCracken Jr. to jail for 10 days. The actions were upheld by a federal judge who deemed it was within the powers of the House under an inherent contempt charge.
Under an inherent contempt charge, they could set Holder’s butt down in a jail cell for a couple of months until he finally complies with the congressional subpoenas or until his boss is voted out of office and Holder is replaced with someone who will actually uphold the laws of the land. I bet you there’s a whole lot of Americans who would love to see Holder in jail until he’s unemployed.