Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2012

Holder Soon to Be on the Hot Seat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:59 am

As voters line up to vote in Florida, let us not lose sight of the reason we are voting: to oust Barack Obama. In that vein, I want to keep the focus on one of the bigger scandals of his administration: Fast and Furious — because there is a major hearing coming up Thursday. Eric Holder will be on the hot seat, and new Friday afternoon document dumps are casting doubt on some of his previous testimony:

[Holder] is scheduled to appear Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The first question for Holder will concern a series of emails sent in the immediate aftermath of the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 15, 2010. The emails make clear that Monty Wilkinson, then Holder’s deputy chief of staff, was informed by U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke of Terry’s death, and that weapons found on the scene were bought in Phoenix and were among those in “the investigation we were going to talk about.”

Other documents obtained by the committee make clear that the investigation in question was Fast and Furious. The emails also establish that Wilkinson and other senior Justice Department officials in Washington were briefed on the program shortly after Terry’s murder. In other words, within days, if not hours, of Terry’s death, it was known at the highest levels of the Justice Department that he was killed by guns sold with the full knowledge of federal officials who then lost track of them.

It is simply inconceivable that Wilkinson did not inform others in the Justice Department, including Holder, about these facts.

Indeed. And if he didn’t, that raises questions about Holder’s managerial competence.

This is going to be a major hearing, and it won’t be pretty for Holder. We’ll do our best to stay on top of it here.

37 Responses to “Holder Soon to Be on the Hot Seat”

  1. One major issue is not just: who knew what when? but also getting to the bottom of the facts. Was Terry killed with a Fast and Furious weapon? How about Jaime Zapata?

    I’m more interested in those answers than in getting a ceremonial head on a platter.

    Patterico (d508e7)

  2. Looking like conviction will follow Jan. 20, 2012.

    Hope the more serious charges are levelled after Dog is meat.

    gary gulrud (d88477)

  3. RACIST CHEAP JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS

    /Nasty liberal

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  4. They overplayed their hand and expected all Americans to cower to the notion we might be called “racists”. He’s done. He’s the worst AG we’ve ever had and I’m a law enforcement veteran who has 36 years of experience.

    Obama put a political animal in a powerful position to promote a racist agenda and that’s what he did. I could say a lot worse but I won’t. It’s shameful and has cost lives of American patriots.

    Dave B (982f20)

  5. Holder can do no wrong because of his skin color.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  6. Everyone of these demobastards deserves life in prision for the massive corruption…any lib who voted for hope and change from ChiTown is an idiot if they did not understand the Chicago Way is what they would be getting…a new public works project should be started to build prisions to hold these SOBS, including King BOH!!!!

    nocoen (4478dc)

  7. Hopefully our Congresspersons will begin to use Holder to tie up Obama. This hearing should push on the path of “what did the President know and when did he know it,” forcing Obama to either throw Holder to the wolves and cut losses, or be taken down with him.

    Flyover Fred (46c705)

  8. GOP candidates should call for legislation effective 30 days prior to the election curtailing Obama’s authority to issue pardons for crimes currently under investigation.

    It is unconscionable to allow a sitting president and his Justice Department to stonewall congressional investigations on while he retains the power to pardon his accomplices.

    ropelight (18b0e1)

  9. Clinton gave pardons to marxist thugs.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  10. The case against the ATF seems pretty much proven. While we can go on and on about who at the DOJ knew what (not saying we shouldn’t), we know enough to abolish the ATF right now. The GOP could make a major issue out of this. Take the ATF’s budget and give it to the border patrol. Take their staff and give them their 99 weeks.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  11. I didn’t think they could top their effort in the Clinton administration, but bless their hearts they did, arming a militia that is against the elected government of Mexico, and similar incidents in Honduras,

    narciso (87e966)

  12. Pat,

    According to the DoJ e-mails that NPR posted online, the office of the http://patterico.com/2012/01/31/holder-soon-to-be-on-the-hot-seat/#commentsAG was informed that the weapons found near Terry’s body were part of the Fast & Furious cache. Though they don’t mention the “investigation” by name:

    Wilkinson, 12/15/2010 11:15:51 AM: “Please provide any additional details as they become available to you.”

    Wilkinson (apparently informed of Terry’s death) 12/15/2010 1:55:07 PM: “Thanks, Dennis, terrible situation.”

    Wilkinson 12/15/2010 7:27:01 PM: “I’ll call tomorrow.”

    In response to:

    Burke Wed Dec 15 19:22:26 2010: “The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.”

    It’s inconceivable to me that Wilkinson didn’t call back (as he said he’d do in a later e-mail) and that he didn’t inform Holder.

    That’s just based upon my experience in the Navy. We had a couple of formatted messages (OPREP-3 reporting) that were to be sent at the highest precedence whenever any incident occurred was going to hit the news and reflect badly upon us. One just went to the CNO, the other to National Command Authority.

    I’d have been ****canned if I hadn’t reported something like this. Wilkinson, Holder’s DCOS, learned a firearm that the ATF walked into Mexico came back across the border and killed a Border Patrol agent and he didn’t tell Holder? That’s beyond belief.

    Wilkinson it seems is already setting himself to take the bullet for his boss; he’s claimed not to “recall” the discussion. One of your agents gets killed by a Mexican drug runner with a gun one of your agencies gifted him, and that’s something you can’t remember?

    Question for the lawyers: is it a defense to claim not to remember or not to have know something like this if you’re in charge of an organization? It seems to me we sent CEOs like Bernie Ebbers to Prison who attempted to defend themselves by saying they didn’t know everything going on in their companies. It didn’t work. And they didn’t help to actually kill hundreds of people in Mexico and the US combined.

    Steve (32257e)

  13. Sorry, Pat, I didn’t quite understand the thrust of the question. You want to know if the investigation proved Terry was actually killed with those weapons.

    I’m jumping to a conclusion, not without reason, that one of those weapons would have been the murder weapon as Mexican criminals tend to drop the murder weapon so as to distance themselves from it; they won’t be found with it.

    And, thanks to the ATF and the Mexican Army, it’s not too hard to get another one in Mexico these days.

    But isn’t it bad enough that two out of three men (according to the original indictment there were three) in the crew that killed Terry were carrying weapons provided by Fast & Furious?

    Steve (32257e)

  14. Has Holder found and prosecuted those responsible?
    Why not?
    If he DIDN’T know about this program, WHAT DID HE DO, when he found out.

    Either way the mf’er needs to go to prison. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll drop a dime on Opie on his way out the door.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  15. ‘’None of the 22 witnesses interviewed by the committee claims to have spoken with the attorney general about the specific tactics employed in Operation Fast and Furious prior to the public controversy.”

    If Holder didn’t know, he should have known. Incompetence is no excuse.
    Just because Eric Holder is a complete incompetent, is no excuse to keep him as AG.

    I fully expect Eric Holder to switch to the “Wizard of Oz” defense.
    He will be assuming the part of the “Cowardly Lion Liar

    [note: released from moderation. –Stashiu]

    Elliott Abrams (d1c681)

  16. When Obama said that Holder knew nothing of Fast and Furious I knew he did. Its simple logic. For Obama to know if Holder did or didn’t know about it, he would have had to know himself. So Obama knew, then lied about holder.

    Of course no White House reporter is ever going to ask Obama or his minions how he knew.

    Wayne (0f5387)

  17. GOP candidates should call for legislation effective 30 days prior to the election curtailing Obama’s authority to issue pardons for crimes currently under investigation.

    Excuse me? By what authority could Congress do such a thing? (Even leaving aside the trivial practicality of it having to pass the Senate and get Obama’s signature, of course.)

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  18. Impeach Holder now.

    Milhouse (9a4c23)

  19. Somalia will not overthrow their muslim overlords.

    Hopefully we overthrow our statist overlords.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  20. Holder to committee: What you talkin’ ’bout Willis?

    David Christensen (3e2f9d)

  21. There seems to be several layers of coverup on the weapons recovered at the Terry ambush scene.
    First they denied that there were any weapons, then that the weapons were connected to F&F, and now it seems to be impossible to get the forensic info out of the FBI lab as to which, or whether, these two AK’s delivered the killing shot (or any shots that hit the BP agents).

    The fact (revealed in last Friday’s doc-dump) that Holder or his subordinates were notified within 24-hrs of Terry’s death, and that Holder has repeatedly denied that knowledge (or pretty much anything contemporanius of F&F) is a pretty damning indictment of the management skills he brings to his office, and/or his basic competence.

    Is he stupid, or just incompetent?
    Yes!

    “What did the President know, and when did he know it?”

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  22. Why do we have the UN for?

    UN are anti 2nd amendment.

    UN only go after our allies for their alleged human rights violations.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  23. Holder is an evil man.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  24. 20. …and now it seems to be impossible to get the forensic info out of the FBI lab as to which, or whether, these two AK’s delivered the killing shot (or any shots that hit the BP agents).

    Which is another reason, AD-RtR/OS!, I believe they were in fact used to kill Agent Terry. With this crowd from the WH on down, the only safe assumption is that if they’re not releasing the information it’s because it incriminates them.

    They’d gladly release the information if it “cleared” them of wrongdoing, at least in the eyes of the sycophantic press. The MFM would be happy to be able to claim that, sure, mistakes were made but these guns didn’t actually kill anyone. Ergo, the GOP are on a baseless witchhunt making much ado about nothing.

    If those AKs didn’t fire any shots that hit Terry, I don’t doubt that the DoJ would make the claim that they just happened to be lying there in the desert in the vicinity of what later became a crime scene for who knows how long.

    Implausible, yes, but no more implausible than Holder’s story about how long he’s known about F&F.

    By the way, didn’t Scooter Libby get convicted on several felony counts for “lying” to investigators about when & how he learned about Valerie Plame?

    Steve (32257e)

  25. Wow so it’s racist to oppose gay marriage?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  26. Calling a black guy numbnuts was racist?

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  27. But calling Bush worse than Hitler is not.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  28. Patterico, I’m grateful for your commitment to bird-dog this scandal, and I suspect many of your other readers are, too.

    In particular, I value the mental discipline you will exercise in sorting out the evidence of genuine culpability from the generalized fuzzy rage that characterizes a lot of the coverage of this scandal in the conservative and new medias.

    Unfocused rants (e.g., about how slippery and evil Holder is) don’t persuade any voters, even when they’re justifiable. When I read headlines about some email “proving,” for example, that Holder has “committed perjury,” I tend to discount, and even dismiss, those accusations as likely coming from someone who has no clue just how hard it is to get a perjury conviction in real life.

    Your take, though, I value precisely because you’ll hold your own side to intellectual honesty. And the only way this will ever drive Holder (or his principal) from office is if the case is made with intellectual honesty and without reliance on hyperbole to fill in the gaps. Carry on, sir.

    Beldar (e3cb18)

  29. :roll: Holder will scream racism and the republicans will fold like an accordion.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  30. When I read headlines about some email “proving,” for example, that Holder has “committed perjury,” I tend to discount, and even dismiss, those accusations as likely coming from someone who has no clue just how hard it is to get a perjury conviction in real life.

    Why is the practical difficulty in actually getting a conviction relevant? People are not generally proposing that he be prosecuted for perjury, they’re proposing that he be impeached and removed from office for it, or at least that the evidence proving his perjury be published and used as a political weapon against Obama. If there are emails that do prove that he’s perjured himself, then surely they can be used in these ways much more easily than they can be used to secure a criminal conviction.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  31. Shorter Milhouse: Just because you can’t convict someone doesn’t mean they’re not guilty.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  32. Exactly Holder is a two-faced pussy.

    Dohbiden (ef98f0)

  33. Holder Soon to Be on the Hot Seat

    The only chair suitable for this SOB has an electrical attachment, but it’s not ostensibly there to perform a mere warming function…

    IGotBupkis, Three Time Winner of the Silver Sow Award (8e2a3d)

  34. Exactly Holder is a two-faced pussy.

    Actually, I believe that’s an ass you’re looking at. No matter which end you happen to be viewing.

    Smock Puppet, 10 Dan Snark Master (8e2a3d)

  35. I tend to discount, and even dismiss, those accusations as likely coming from someone who has no clue just how hard it is to get a perjury conviction in real life.

    I don’t know what charges, if any, are likely to come of this. It just reminds me of two cases.

    Bernie Ebbers at Wordlcom, who was convicted of SEC violations, conspiracy, and filing false papers because the jury didn’t buy what the media dubbed the “idiot defense.”

    And Scooter Libby who was convicted of perjury, lying to investigators, and obstruction charges which revolved around when he learned of Plame and who told him. He tried to blame a faulty memory.

    Wilkinson claims he “does not recall” either following up with Burke about that “investigation” that they had previously agreed to talk about, or if he ever told Holder the part about the guns found at the crime scene were part of F&F.

    Then there’s Holder who never reads his e-mails or memos.

    It’s a combination of Libby’s faulty memory defense and Ebbers’ idiot defense.

    We’re talking about one of their own agents getting killed with their own guns. Do these things happen so frequently at Justice (to use the term loosely) that they’re not worth telling the boss about and it’s hard to recall the details of just one of so many incidents?

    Wilkinson can’t recall if he ever followed up with Burke? He can’t recall if he told the AG about the fact the guns that were found on the crime scene and may (of course I believe they did) have killed Terry were part of F&F?

    The AG isn’t upset enough with his own deputy chief of staff that he hasn’t fired him? That to me is the most d***ing. From Wilkinson’s LinkedIn page it looks like he got a promotion:

    Principal Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at Executive Office for United States Attorneys

    If my DCOS failed to tell me about this or failed to follow-up, he wouldn’t still be with the organization. Of course, that presumes that he didn’t tell me. If he really had, and I was guilty of misleading Congress, I certainly wouldn’t want to turn him into a whistleblower by publicly trying to scapegoat him.

    I asked earlier if it’s a defense (against obstruction, conspiracy, perjury, lying, whatever) to act this stupid when you’re in charge of or hold a high-level executive position in an organization such as the DoJ?

    Obviously after a certain point it isn’t since I cited the Libby and Ebbers cases. But when do you reach the point when you stop letting Holder stonewall Congress using that excuse that he was too busy reading Hustler and surfing the personal ads on Craigslist to read anything work related, or notice or ask what was going on at the office? Will we know tomorrow?

    Steve (32257e)

  36. Good news. We may have reached that point.

    Issa’s a Republican. Clearly this is just racially motivated. Something like that.

    Smock Puppet, 10 Dan Snark Master (8e2a3d)


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