The U.S. House of Representatives will cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt this week in refusing to turn over documents related to the failed Fast and Furious gun-running operation, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“The House will pass the orders of contempt,” Gosar, a Republican member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Newsmax on Monday. “They will then be forwarded to the U.S. Attorney there in D.C., in which then they will start to itemize and inventory and log of all the information and why the affidavit has executive privilege.
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“It really puts the administration in a quandary, because if the president really wasn’t involved, why would he have executive privilege here?” Gosar asked.
He then made reference to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed Dec. 14, 2010, with guns linked to the scheme, the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, and other casualties of guns bought in the United States.
“This is a horrible scenario [and] most people have to understand that Brian Terry lost his life, Jamie Zapata’s involved – he had over 300 Mexicans lost their lives – and we’ve got a federal government that still hasn’t produced somebody who orchestrated this, and we know it goes all the way back to Washington, D.C.”
The House panel is seeking from Holder documents related to “Operation Fast and Furious,” which allowed guns illegally purchased in the U.S. to be smuggled across the border to track them to Mexican drug cartels. Democrats have accused House Republicans of engaging in an election-year “fishing expedition” with their probe.
In a June 20 vote along party lines, the committee brushed aside President Barack Obama’s last-minute assertion of executive privilege to shield the documents and held Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for them.
The panel’s action marked an escalation in a standoff between Republican lawmakers and the Obama White House that began last year. House Republican leaders set a vote by the full House on the contempt citation for this week, setting up a potential referral of the case to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington to determine whether prosecution is warranted.
Gosar has been among those leading the charge in calling for Holder to resign. He said he hopes the House leadership would bring his “no confidence” resolution to the floor, which has 115 supporters and “should be bipartisan because America has lost faith in this attorney general and this administration.”
The first-term Congressman said he expects bipartisan support in the contempt citation this week, despite the earlier party-line committee vote.
“We know upper-level Justice Department officials were involved in some of the decision-making and oversight, and they could have stopped this – and that was in 2010.
“So the facts are there,” Gosar said. “This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. This is where a government, particularly the Department of Justice, has gone wrong.”
Obtaining the documents from the Justice Department is critical in determining how Congress should proceed, Gosar said.
“We’re entitled as Oversight to have those documents, whether they be in print or accessing confidentiality, so we can do our job in keeping a checks and balance between all three levels of government,” Gosar said. “Also having access to people to be interviewed. And that’s all we’ve asked for.”
“We should get that information. We should find out who OK’d this process. We must make them accountable just like everybody else, because Main Street America needs to realize and understand that bureaucrats are going to be held to the same letter of the law – and that includes our attorney general and our president.
“Last but not least is to put some checks and balances in here so that this never happens again,” Gosar added. “This is egregious. This is one of the worst scenarios I could think of because we allowed our federal government to put guns in the hands of convicted criminals and international thugs and did not follow proper protocols for law enforcement.
“That’s why it’s such an egregious action, and we’ve got to make sure to put in checks and balances.”
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