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Tag: Congress

Issa threatens Holder with contempt over Mexico gun probe

file photo/doj

By Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY

The chairman of the House’s chief investigative committee today threatened Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress if he failed to provide additional documents in the panel’s ongoing inquiry into allegations that federal agents allowed hundreds of weapons to flow to Mexico and into the hands of drug cartel enforcers.

In a four-page letter, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., charged that the Justice Department was actively attempting to “obstruct” the panel’s investigation and that documents sought under an October subpoena be delivered by Feb. 9.

“If the department continues to obstruct the congressional inquiry by not providing documents and information, this committee will have no alternative but to move forward with proceedings to hold you in contempt of Congress,” Issa wrote.

To read more click here.

Atty. General Holder to Testify on Fast and Furious

Atty. Gen. Holder on the Hill/ttw photo via C-Span

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Is it Groundhog Day — as in the Bill Murray film?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will once again testify on Feb. 2 before Congress where he’s gotten a grilling in the past several months on ATF’s controversial gun walking operation “Fast and Furious.”

Rep. Darrell Issa’s office fired off a press release announcing the appearance, and indicated it’s the first one for Holder that will be exclusively focus on  Fast and Furious. In previous appearances, he’s also addressed other issues.

This is the third time Holder will have testified before congressional panels since November.

Holder will appear before Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“The Department of Justice’s conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful,” said Issa in a statement.

“From its initial denials that nothing improper occurred, to efforts to silence whistleblowers who wanted to tell Congress what really happened, to its continuing refusal to discuss or share documents related to this cover-up, the Justice Department has fought tooth and nail to hide the full truth about what occurred and what senior officials knew. Attorney General Holder must explain or reverse course on decisions that appear to put the careers of political appointees ahead of the need for accountability and the Department’s integrity.”

To read more click here.

 

Congress Grills FBI Director Mueller on Training About Islam

LA Times Editorial: Obama Admin. Takes Concrete Step Toward Curbing Gun Flow to Mexico

atf file photo

By The Los Angeles Times Editorial Page

The Obama administration took a concrete step toward curbing the flow of semiautomatic weapons to Mexico last week when it adopted a new regulation mandating the reporting of multiple sales of long guns to federal authorities. Under the regulation, some 8,500 licensed gun shops in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas will be required to inform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a customer buys more than one semiautomatic that is .22 caliber or greater within a five-day period. The regulation is a small but significant tool that could help federal authorities keep weapons sold in the United States out of the hands of Mexican gangs and drug cartels. Rather than tracing an AK-47 after it has been recovered from a crime scene, ATF agents may be able to intervene before the weapon is smuggled across the border. The National Rifle Assn. is, not surprisingly, denouncing the modest rule as encroaching on Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights; in fact, it is already threatening to sue the federal government, contending that only Congress can impose such rules. To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ATF’s Acting Chief Ken Melson Strongly Resisting Stepping Down

Ken Melson/atf photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Replacing Ken Melson, acting head of ATF, could get a little messy.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Melson is “strongly resisting pressure” to step down over the controversy surrounding ATF’s “Operation Fast and Furious”, a flawed program that encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers with the hopes of tracing them to the Mexican cartels.   ATF lost track of some weapons that showed up at crime scenes.

The paper reported that  Melson is eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials’ involvement in the operation.

The LA Times said Melson doesn’t  want to be “the fall guy” for the program

“He is saying he won’t go,” one source told the paper.  “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ ”

A second source told the paper: “He’s resisting. He does not want to go.”

Andrew Traver, head of the Chicago ATF, has been nominated by the White House to become the head of ATF. But his nomination has been stalled in the Senate because of fierce opposition from the NRA, which insists he’s too anti-gun rights.

Traver met Tuesday with Attorney Gen. Eric Holder. Reports predicted that Melson would be pressured to step down and Traver would become acting director pending the outcome of the confirmation process.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Says 40 Names on Terrorist “Hit List”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s being described as a wish list for terrorists.

ABC reports that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have sent a bulletin to law enforcement agencies alerting them of a terrorist “hit list” posted on a jihadi web site that names 40 prominent figures from government, the U.S. military and the media. It includes members of Congress and execs from an American company that produces drones.

“In response to the original posting,” says the U.S. government’s intelligence bulletin, according to ABC, “other forum members posted the names of over 40 heads of government, industry and media as potential targets.”

“Though there has been an increase in postings on extremist web forums since [Osama bin Laden’s] death on 2 May 2011, these examples are the most target specific threat postings in the forum since that date,” says the bulletin. The depth and breadth of the list provided . . . represent a familiarity with defense and intelligence contractors and private sector support.”

ABC reported that an FBI official who reviewed the notice called the list a “wish list” and aspirational.

Column: If Congress Extends FBI Dir. Mueller’s Term, Let’s Not Do it Again For Anyone Else

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– I have mixed feelings about the White House proposal to have FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III stay two years more beyond his 10-year term, which expires in September. The opinions of newspaper editorial boards around the country reflect my ambivalence.

All recognize the need for continuity in such uncertain times. All praise Mueller for taking on the job at a time of rapid change. They also note that after Hoover’s death in 1972, Congress passed legislation to limit the term to 10-years, pointing to the politics and power Hoover amassed, and how he abused his position and stepped over the line and made many important people, including presidents, fear him.

Continuity. Sure it’s important. But change is constant, a part of life, a part of Washington.  And as the Washington Post rightfully asks:”But when are continuity and stability at the FBI not critical?”

Read more »

EX-FBI Agent Mike Clark Running for Congress in Conn.


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An ex-FBI agent who led the investigation into then-Conn. Gov. John Rowland, is jumping into the political race for Congress, NBC Connecticut is reporting.

Michael Clark, a 22-year veteran of the FBI who retired in 2004, is currently on the Town Council in Farmington, Conn., the station reported. He is running as a Republican.

“I am running for Congress because I love and respect this country and am proud to serve it,” Clark said. “I believe we need a smaller, more efficient government that delivers core services to its citizens and respects the fact that we are a nation founded on free market principles.”

Gov. Rowland, who served from 1995 to 2004,  eventually resigned and pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2mhi9L1O4E