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Old 06-19-2012, 10:55 AM   #38 (permalink)
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GOP leadership does not want to pursue....

In other words, GOP leadership is endorsing holder.

The face-to-face meeting between GOP Rep. Darrell Issa and Attorney General Eric Holder scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on the congressional investigation into the botched anti-gunrunning operation Fast and Furious will take place as scheduled, several sources tell Fox News.

The meeting -- which was announced Monday but has since appeared to be in jeopardy of being canceled due to scheduling conflicts -- is still set for the original 5 p.m. start on Capitol Hill.

Holder has posed making a deal with Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, by offering some key documents in exchange for Issa calling off a contempt vote scheduled for Wednesday.

"They say they have the documents," Issa said a few hours before the scheduled meeting. "We're hoping to receive those documents before the 5 p.m. meeting. That was a contingent requirement for the meeting. ... It's not about meetings, it's about getting documents."

Sources told Fox News other potential lawmakers expected to attend the meeting are Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt.; and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House oversight panel.

Holder, in a letter to Issa delivered Monday, said the Justice Department "has offered a serious, good faith proposal to bring this matter to an amicable resolution in the form of a briefing based on documents that the committee could retain."

Until now, Issa, the chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has demanded to see a trove of documents on the controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation -- and to know who prepared a now-retracted letter from Feb. 4, 2011, in which the Justice Department claimed the U.S. did not knowingly help smuggle guns to Mexico, including those later found at the murder scene of border agent Brian Terry.

Congressional Republicans familiar with the investigation say Issa is under pressure from House Speaker John Boehner to drop the Fast and Furious investigation because Boehner sees it as an election-year distraction that could hurt Republicans at the polls.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said he welcomed a resolution that would avoid a contempt vote.

"Last week, the chairman asked for a 'serious proposal' on these documents, and the attorney general gave us one the next day," Cummings said. "I look forward to our meeting ... to finalize the terms of this proposed agreement, and I see no reason to proceed with contempt given these positive developments."

However, late Monday, Issa wrote Holder back with a strategy of his own. Not only must Holder deliver the roughly 1,300 documents pertaining to the Feb. 4 letter, but he must also produce a description of all the documents he will not produce. Issa says that document log is "essential for the committee to determine whether the department has substantially met its obligations."

Issa rescheduled Tuesday's meeting from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to give his staff and the committee time to review the documents. Either way, it is a high stakes gambit on Holder's part to forestall a contempt vote Republicans are sure to pass in the Oversight Committee, which is composed of 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

But getting a contempt measure to the House floor could be a problem. Sources close to the investigation told Fox News that both Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor generally are not supportive of the vote against Holder. And unless the contempt citation is passed by the House as a whole, the subpoena remains a paper tiger with no force of law.

Some House Republicans fear if Boehner does not fully support Issa, Issa may be forced to accept Holder's offer so he doesn't walk away empty-handed. It's also possible the committee could vote to hold Holder in contempt only to see the citation die a quiet death over the summer if Boehner does not schedule a full House vote.

Publicly, Boehner and Cantor say they support efforts to hold the attorney general accountable.

One key to Tuesday's outcome may be the National Rifle Association. The NRA would not confirm, but sources say the gun rights organization is pushing hard to allow the contempt vote. The group's involvement increases pressure on Boehner and Democrats up for re-election in swing districts.

More hard-line Republicans, while supportive of Issa, say they will not go quietly if he accepts Holder's eleventh-hour offer after complaints that he has stonewalled for months.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...#ixzz1yGO3Tznz

Last edited by rockota; 06-19-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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