Busy day in Washington today.
If you’re not near a TV, you can watch the Eric Holder live testimony re. Fast and Furious and other matters here. Here’s how C-SPAN previews:
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee today about when he first became aware of the tactics used by the ATF’s failed sting operation aimed at gun smugglers.
Previously, Holder vowed that the tactics used during operation Fast and Furious would never be used again by the Justice Department. The operation allowed guns to be smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border in order to establish links between arms dealers and drug cartels.
The Attorney General has also said that the Justice Department never knowingly provided Congress with false information about Fast and Furious, a charge leveled by House and Senate Republicans. Mr. Holder will testify before the full House Judiciary Committee.
New RNC ad blasts F&F cover-up:
Update: 10:05am Holder will NOT be sworn in under oath as requested by Rep. Issa. Rep. Smith argues he’s technically already under oath.
Right on cue. Or rather, left on cue: Conyers opens by pushing more gun-control legislation at Holder hearing.
Conyers heaps praise on Holder’s dedication and civil rights championship. Antidote: Christian Adams’ book, Injustice.
Issa: He has “no confidence in a president who has confidence in Eric Holder.”
Holder’s dulled praise for border officials –followed by whining about politics–is the emetic of the morning.
I’m marveling at how Holder testifies so bloodlessly about the bloodiest disaster of the Obama administration.
GOP Rep. Lamar Smith turns to Obamacare/Supreme Court justice Kagan conflict/recusal issue. Holder going in circles on whether he’s asserting a legal privilege in refusing to hand over the documents.
GOP Rep. Sensenbrenner: DOJ official Lanny Breuer should be fired. Whaddya gonna do to clean up this mess?
Holder: Nobody at Justice lied.
Sensenbrenner: Letter was wdrawn! What’s dif between lying & misleading?!
Sensenbrenner raises prospect of impeachment. Story here.
Holder: The Justice Dept has released facts. Pats self on back for explaining Breuer LIES.
10:40am House hearing in recess for a series of four votes.
Check out Issa’s new Fast and Furious investigation website here.
Sheila Jackson Lee can’t even remember BP Agent Brian Terry’s name while pretending to care.
Holder is stammering in response to q’s from Goodlatte about how many #fastandfurious guns recovered. He doesn’t know.
Maxine Waters calls the ATF the “AFT” in crusading for Holder power grab legislation.
Waters play-acts shock comparing legal sales to govt-forced illegal sales.
Ignores that the federal licensees involved actually pre-reported multiple long gun sales. ATF approved them.
Hank “Guam is sinking” Johnson is shamelessly playing the race card, invoking “white supremacists” and gun dealers instead of Fast and Furious.
Johnson: How many weapons are sold to “white supremacists” at “unregulated gun shows”?
Issa with boxes of docs at his side: 5,000 emails on #fastandfurious, but not a single one from Holder. Why?
Issa asks if Holder is a prolific e-mailer. Holder says no. Issa asks if has personal email. Holder-Yes. #fastandfurious
Holder brags about “unprecedented” doc turnover. Issa retorts about Holder’s ignorance.
Issa focuses in on what CoS Gary Grindler knew. Nailing Holder. Jackson Lee tries to play human shield.
Issa nailing DOJ IG for leaking #fastandfurious to object of investigation.
Issa is treating Holder as “hostile witness” because…he is one.
GOP Rep Franks going back to ATF memos using scandal to expand power.
Franks reestablishes that Holder hasn’t produced all pertinent #fastandfurious emails and won’t.
In response to GOP Rep Ted Poe, Holder acknowledges it was “flawed,” “reckless,” “tragic,” and “yes,” more people are going to die.
After GOP Rep Poe points out reckless standard could invite crim prosec, Holder walks back “reckless.” #fastandfurious #cya
Here’s the vid:
Vid: GOP Rep. Dan Lungren nails Holder on gun-control exploitation memos reported by CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson, blasts Holder for blame Bush games, blurring distinction betwn Gunrunner/WideReceiver & #fastandfurious:
Democrat Rep Judy Chu = tool. Reading straight from DOJ cheerleading talking points touting crime fighting record.
Chaffetz to Holder: Have u spoken to J-Nap, Clinton about #fastandfurious? No. Obama? Doesn’t think so.
Chaffetz: Dead bodies in US, Mexico and you haven’t spoken to JNap, Clinton, or President?
Holder lecturing Chaffetz on the “way Washington works.” Dems snicker.
Chaffetz presses forward on shooting of Jaime Zapata, agents on ground in panic. DOJ/DHS release but no Holder/JNap talk?
Holder: I have made personnel changes. Chaffetz: You haven’t fired anyone! Holder: It’s not all I am possibly going to do.
Emetic: Holder lecturing Chaffetz on need for establishing facts.
House #fastandfurious hearing recesses for votes until 2:30pm.
Meanwhile Jon Corzine is on a House hot seat. Hearing’s livestreaming here.
Corzine don’t know nuttin:
Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey senator who ran the derivatives broker-dealer MF Global Holdings as its chief executive leading up to its historic failure on Oct. 31, told a congressional panel on Thursday that he does not know what happened to an estimated $1.2 billion in missing customer funds.
“I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” he said in prepared testimony before the House Agriculture Committee. MF Global failed because it over leveraged itself and made bad bets on European sovereign debt. Regulators have said it invested with customer funds that were supposed to be segregated.
“I do not know which accounts are unreconciled or whether the unreconciled accounts were or were not subject to the segregation rules,” Corzine said in his prepared remarks.
Corzine apologized in his testimony and said he was “stunned” the day before the firm collapsed when he learned that the firm could not account for hundreds of millions of dollars in client funds.
He said that as CEO he takes “responsibility for the firm,” but he readily admitted he did not involve himself deeply or understand the complexities of its day-to-day operations.
Takeaway: Holder holds out possibility of firing underlings at DOJ once “facts” are established. #fastandfurious
McConnell is on the Senate floor now drawing the line: “we’re not going to let the president put another unelected czar in place.”
Vote falls short. Update here.