Tuesday, June 12, 2012



Eric Holder warns of ‘constitutional crisis’

Eric Holder is pictured. | AP Photo
'I’ve extended my hand, and I’m waiting to hear back,' Holder said. | AP Photo
Under threat of a House contempt citation over the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke in a conciliatory tone Tuesday about his willingness for “compromises” to avoid what he called “an impending constitutional crisis” over the withholding of documents in response to a congressional subpoena.
“We are prepared to make – I am prepared to make - compromises with regard to the documents that can be made available,” said Holder in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Text Size

  • -
  • +
  • reset

Holder warns of crisis

Cornyn calls on Holder to resign

“I want to make it very clear that I am offering – I myself – to sit down with the Speaker, the chairman, with you, whoever, to try and work our way through this in an attempt to avoid a constitutional crisis, and come up with ways, creative ways, in which to make this material available. But I’ve got to have a willing partner. I’ve extended my hand, and I’m waiting to hear back,” he added in response to a question about the subpoenaed documents posed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.)
Holder’s remarks were his most aggressive public offer yet to wheel and deal with Congress to head off a dramatic contempt showdown — Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has scheduled a vote on the citation for June 20 in his committee.
After using the phrase “constitutional crisis” at least three times, Holder noted two hours into the hearingthat “constitutional conflict” might be a better term.
At issue between Republicans and Democrats are the withholding of Justice Department documents in response to a Congressional subpoena. The DOJ claims that previous administrations have reserved the right to withhold deliberative documents.
“There is a basis for the withholding of these documents… the tradition has always been, by members of the Justice Department, whether they were Republicans or Democrats, to withhold deliberative material,” argued Holder. “We have reached out to Chairman Issa, members of the leadership on the House side, to try to work our way through these issues.”
One possible area of compromise appeared to be the issue of wiretap applications related to Fast and Furious that are confidential because they are under a court-ordered seal.
“Will you seek the court’s permission to release the affidavit so that people can read them… and if there’s any problem with something sensitive, could the judge make a decision to remove any truly sensitive information before release?” asked Grassley.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77327.html#ixzz1xbVIaxTZ

Enhanced by Zemanta