Rep. Farenthold to Newsmax: Fast and Furious Documents ‘Incriminating,’ ‘Explosive’

Wednesday, 15 Aug 2012 09:03 PM

By Todd Beamon and John Bachman

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The documents on Operation Fast and Furious that House Republicans sued U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to obtain must contain “something either incriminating or very politically explosive,” Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

“There is something either incriminating or very politically explosive in there or they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to hold them back – and they wouldn’t have called on President Obama to exert executive privilege at the last second,” the GOP congressman tells Newsmax. “And, of course, we all know executive privilege only applies to deliberations of the president and his closest advisers.

Watch the exclusive video here.


“And the president has said publicly that he didn’t know about Fast and Furious as it was going on,” Farenthold added. “So it’s pretty clear that he’s either misleading us about what he knew or executive privilege doesn’t apply.”

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On Monday, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform filed suit in federal civil court to force Holder to turn over Fast and Furious documents that had been subpoenaed last October. The lawsuit also asks the court to rule that executive privilege not apply to the information.

In June, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to hold Holder in contempt for withholding the documents. No similar action has been taken against President Barack Obama.

The botched operation sought to link Arizona gun sales to Mexican drug cartels but has led to the deaths of two federal agents and hundreds of Mexican nationals.

Earlier this month, California Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House panel, and Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley released the first of three reports on the operation – naming five federal officials they said were responsible for the scheme.

Farenthold, who is on the Oversight Committee, said Monday’s lawsuit evolved from the contempt citation.

“The House held the attorney general both in criminal and civil contempt,” he explained. “Under criminal contempt, the Justice Department, which is actually headed by Holder, is supposed to prosecute the case in federal court.

“Our fear, and it seems to have been well-founded, is the Justice Department wasn’t going to act on the criminal contempt. So we moved ahead and filed a lawsuit to go into civil court to compel the attorney general to turn over the documents that we’ve been waiting months for.”

The congressman declined to predict when a federal judge might rule on the lawsuit – “We’re going to let the wheels of justice progress as they might and wait for a result” – but said the case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If the past is any indication, the DOJ and Obama administration will take every opportunity they can to stonewall and delay.”

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Farenthold added that, regardless of who takes the White House on Nov. 6, the House committee will continue its investigation.

“It’s not so much about Holder and the Justice Department and Fast and Furious at this point. This is a test of the oversight authority of Congress and our power to get documents from the Executive Branch.

“If we can’t get the documents we need from the agencies that we create and fund, I think our Republic is in grave danger.”

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