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Authorizing Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to Initiate or Intervene in Judicial Proceedings to Enforce Certain Subpoenas

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

The contempt citation pending against Attorney General Holder is unfounded, unfair, and unwise. All of this involves questions about gunwalking. And we know that the Attorney General has handed over thousands of documents in response to multiple subpoenas. So we know that the gunwalking policy began under the Bush administration. We know that President Bush's Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, was briefed on the policy, and it continued. We know that when Attorney General Holder found out about it, he shut the program down and called for an investigation.

If we want to know why the policy started, we should ask officials who served when it started during the Bush administration. If we want to know what Attorney General Holder knew about Fast and Furious, we should call the former Acting Director of the ATF, Ken Melson, who is on the record as saying that he would have been the one to have informed the Attorney General, but even he didn't know about Fast and Furious. But unfortunately, requests from the Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to call these witnesses have been rejected.

At this point, there has been no articulation of any useful information about the origins of gunwalking in Fast and Furious or the death of Agent Brian Terry that can be learned from the narrow set of documents still at issue, nor has there been any articulation of any legitimate legislative purpose that can be achieved. And, in fact, Chairman Issa has silenced whistleblowers who testified about legislation to strengthen law enforcement tools on our southwestern boarder.

If the Speaker now insists on holding Attorney General Holder in contempt for failing to respond to more subpoenas, the Speaker should articulate with clarity what general purpose will be served by the response. If nothing legitimately useful is to be learned nor any legislative purpose is to be achieved with continued responses to these subpoenas, then it is time for the Attorney General to get back to work, along with the Members of the House.

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