Mitchell Reports | June 19, 2012
>>> attorney general eric holder is meeting today with republican house government and oversight chairman darrell issa , trying to stop issa from pushing ahead with a threatened contempt of congress vote over the controversial fast and furious program, the program that permitted thousands of guns to reach the drug cartels in mexico. issa has been demanding that holder turn over more documents on the program.
>> i want to ask you first of all today, have you and your attorneys produced internally the materials responsive to the subpoenas?
>> we believe that we have responded to the subpoena --
>> no, mr. attorney general, you're not a good witness. a good witness answers the question asked.
>> issa had threatened to hold a contempt of congress vote on mr. holder for the failure to turn over those documents. the two will be meeting in just a few hours, hoping to reach a deal. joining me now, elijah cummings , the ranking democrat on that committee. thanks so much. first of all, what can the attorney general do short of turning everything over to stop this vote from going ahead?
>> well, andrea, over the last year, this attorney general has produced 7,600 pages of documents, gone through millions of e-mails, appeared nine times before the congress on fast and furious , has made 26 members of his administration available to our committee. he's done everything he could do. the fact is that all the way up until now, until last friday, chairman issa was demanding documents, andrea, that the attorney general could not lawfully give him. or documents that might interfere with the prosecution. well, finally last friday, chairman issa took those documents off the table and he is now requesting documents concerning a february 4th , 2011 letter addressed to mr. -- senator grassley , wherein the department wrongfully and inaccurately stated that there have been no gun walking. basically, that's what we're boiled down to today. this what is the meeting's all about. mr. issa wants documents that led up to that february 4th letter that again misstated the fact that gun running had taken place, again, gun walking had taken place, and second, he wants documents that may have been available after, may have been written after that february 4th letter. so that's what we're going to be discussing today. i applaud chairman issa for taking the documents that was unreasonable demands off the table and now, i also applaud mr. holder for already delivering to the chairman documents which led up to the february 4th letter that i just talked about.
>> congressman, do you think this showdown can be averted? you know darrell issa really well. you work next to him. obviously you know eric holder , you know the situation. are you going to be present at that meeting or is this going to be one-on-one between the two of them?
>> oh, no, i will be present. i think this can be averted. i think that if chairman issa really wants to resolve this issue, and get it over with, i think it can be easily done. and i think that we really, on the 1 foot line, and the question is whether we're going to fumble the ball before we can get it over the line . i really believe that the attorney general has acted in good faith and now it's just a matter of the two parties sitting down and trying to figure out how to resolve this last issue.
>> all right. elijah cummings , thank you very much. get back to us after the meeting, will you?
>> i certainly will.