For a party that is insisting on cutting costs everywhere, the Republicans in the House of Representatives are really fond of paying lawyers’ fees to pursue their agenda in court. They are spending money like water to defend DOMA in the Courts because the Obama administration refuses to, and now they are planning to sue Attorney General Eric Holder.
There are two forms of Contempt of Congress, and the Republicans voted for both the criminal citation and the civil form. Since it is up to Holder’s own Justice Department to prosecute a Contempt of Congress charge, that avenue is shut. They will not prosecute. So, Speaker John Boehner has decided on a civil suit.
The suit will try to get the documents that Oversight Committee Chairman says he needs to continue his investigation into the gun tracking program known as Fast and Furious. Holder has provided 7,600 documents from the date of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death in December, 2010, until early February of 2011, the period of the original subpoena. Issa insists there are more documents, thousands of them, most of which are internal communications in the Justice Department.
It is a giant fishing expedition. The current theory is that the Obama administration engaged in Fast and Furious and “let” the guns get into Mexico in an attempt to create a scandal that would propel Federal gun control laws. The Republicans have let this idea get out of control, resulting in the National Rifle Association “scoring” the contempt vote. Boehner and Issa have done a “there’s no proof, but…” on the idea.
In bringing the civil suit, the House Republicans will be challenging the executive privilege which President. Obama has used to shut the documents off from the committee.