Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lankford: Holder has No One to Blame but Himself

Washington, D.C. – Representative James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement after today's vote in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress.

“The Committee has patiently asked for specific documents regarding the Fast and Furious operation,” Representative Lankford said. “Unfortunately, the DOJ and AG Holder have used every excuse in the book to stall, delay, and obstruct our investigation.  AG Holder also informed our Committee that the statements given to Congress were not false, they were ‘evolving truth.’”

A copy of the report considered in today’s hearing can be viewed here.

“Refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena comes with consequences including the loss of public trust and being held in contempt,” Representative Lankford continued. “The American people and the Terry family deserve honest answers regarding the Fast and Furious operation, and I am frustrated with DOJ’s disingenuous attempts to circumvent that responsibility.

“My goal is to answer the following questions: who authorized the Fast and Furious actions; why were the actions authorized; who was in charge of operational oversight; and why were the actions allowed to continue?  Now, we must also add the question, what is the Administration trying to hide with such extraordinary methods?

“The Administration has previously denied involvement in the Fast and Furious operation, but now they have invoked Executive Privilege. If no wrongdoing occurred, why would the Administration ardently fight investigation? Executive Privilege only increases the speculation that facts are being withheld to protect people rather than resolve the issue. Candidate Obama's pledge of transparency and openness has deteriorated into Executive Privilege and obfuscating a congressional subpoena.

“We must make sure this type of operation and loose oversight never occurs again. We will hold this Administration accountable for its misconduct,” Representative Lankford concluded.