The media have shown surprising resistance to the Fast & Furious scandal. So their readers and viewers may be surprised if the House Oversight and Government holds Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The House panel may do just that on Wednesday morning, after wrangling since last year over documents related to the scandal.
And if they do get a contempt vote, what will the media and other defenders of the Obama administration do? Will they attempt to justify his refusal to turn over 1300 pages of documents that might explain just what in tarnation was going on with the Fast & Furious scandal? For months, their answers have ranged from obfuscatory to non-sensical. Congress has attempted to determine who authorized and managed the gunwalking operation.
Congress wants to know who prepared a February 4, 2011 letter where the Obama administration claimed that the U.S. did not knowingly help smuggle guns to Mexico (so-called “gun walking”), including the gun used to kill US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
The Obama administration admits the letter was in error, but they have always maintained that the knowledge of these tactics did not reach the top political appointees in the Obama Department of Justice.
After a year-and-a-half, the dam broke when a mole in the Justice Department gave the House Oversight committee a set of wiretap applications proving that high department officials knew about the administration's efforts to aid the gun smuggling. The leaked documents destroyed much of Attorney General Eric Holder's credibility since he had claimed that they were not relevant to the case and refused to release them.
Holder's former spokesman retorts that Republican members of Congress don't really care about a gunwalking scandal that killed a U.S. Border Patrol agent but are actually just upset about Holder's Justice Department meddling with cases involving voting rights, changing marriage law and immigration issues. Hey, thanks for the reminder, spokesman!It's a shame that Holder wouldn't turn over documents to Congress and is otherwise so resistant to transparency in government. While Holder's entire m.o. has been to do things to help his boss, I don't think a contempt vote will help President Obama.And yet I like to game out how people will respond. So how will Obama defenders defend Holder? And how should defenders of transparent government stay focused on the message?