BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
HANNITY: Well, he seems to have failed miserable with that goal with scandal after scandal marring his tenure as attorney general, so much so that he was actually held in contempt of Congress.
Now, over the years, probably no person has held Eric Holder's feet to the fire like the chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, and it seems that all the congressman been getting under our embattled Attorney General's skin. Take a look at this exchange about subpoena e-mails.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 15)
REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF.: Will you make them available to committee based on our bipartisan request?
HOLDER: I will certainly look at the request. It's not something that I have personally been involved in. But I will look at the request and try to be as responsive as we can. I'm sure there must have been a good reason why only the two and from parts were --
ISSA: Yes. You didn't want to us see the details. Mr. Attorney General, in knowing the to and from --
HOLDER: No, no. I'm not going to stop talking now. To characterize something as something --
ISSA: Mr. Chairman, would you inform the witness as to the rules of this committee?
HOLDER: It's inappropriate and it's too consistent with the way in which you conduct yourself as a member of Congress. It's unacceptable and it's shameful.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The gentleman has the time and the gentleman may ask the questions that he deems appropriate.
ISSA: All right. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And joining me now with reaction are Congressman Darrell Issa and Congressman Jason Chaffetz are with us. Congressman -- nice, I see you smiling.
I guess, it would be something to smile about if it wasn't too serious. When you look at his tenure, how would you describe it?
ISSA: Well, it's been a failure. And sadly, the clip you played about his Senate confirmation says a great deal. He's even said before committee that he wears two hats. Obviously, one of them political and the other chief law enforcement and that really makes it unacceptable.
And sadly as you could see in that exchange, he's very good at using a lot of words to say nothing, when, in fact, the question is pretty straight forward, will you respond to a subpoena by delivering the documents that my ranking member, Elijah Cummings and I, both insisted on. Even when it's bipartisan, we can't seem to get through to him that there is a role for Congress and an obligation and just we're trying to fulfill it.
HANNITY: I have one question. There seems to be two instances now where the attorney general did not tell the truth while -- while going before Congress. One is on Fast and Furious, the other involved knowledge about James Rosen. Did he lie under oath in your view?
ISSA: Well, he was under oath. What he said was not correct, in the case of the latter, he's now quote, "corrected the record." That's not acceptable to me. Certainly he knew and said things that he shouldn't have said. But it's part of a pattern. The pattern includes sending his representatives to tell us in the case of Fast and Furious that quote, "they never let guns walk" when people under his control knew they absolutely did.
HANNITY: So, you are saying that the lies are broader.
Congressman Chaffetz, good to see you again. If I went before committee under oath as just an average citizen and I lied, what would happen to me?
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: You better go to jail. But in this administration, they don't hold people to the same degree of accountability. Look at what happened in Fast and Furious, part of the explosion here with the fact that under Department of Justice letterhead, they totally misled and lied to Congress. And the attorney general can't just hide under his lieutenants, that is just unprecedented and to not have it followed through, I'm proud of Darrell Issa, the speaker Boehner and others, the fact that we actually held the attorney general in contempt of Congress. Fast and Furious has not gone away, we have not gotten to the bottom of it, and but for Darrell Issa and some others, we would still be left to believe that by this Attorney General that -- and no problems here. But come on, we have the death of an agent.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about that. Because when he was asked specifically when he learned about Fast and Furious, he said, oh, only within the last few weeks, and then didn't you discover documents that contradicted that term, that statement that he had known about it as early as 10 months prior? Is that true?
CHAFFETZ: Yes. He had absolutely known about it earlier. He claims to know nothing about it, he never told the president about it. But then had to walk all that back, because he actually did know about it. And what is also scary is, if you willingly and knowingly as a federal government give the drug cartels nearly 2,000 weapons, mostly AK-47s, and your attorney general says, well, I knew nothing about it. I mean, that's the pattern here. They claim ignorance, they claim they don't know anything about it, but these are some major operation happening. You can't have it both ways and I think he certainly misled Congress.
HANNITY: Congressman Issa, with all of this, and you're saying that anybody watching this program right now, if they lied before Congress, there would be severe consequences. Yes, you held him in contempt, why have they not been more severe consequences?
ISSA: First of all, one of our problems is, when you want to send for criminal referral, you send it to him. As you saw in contempt, he ordered or allowed his U.S. attorney, a political appointee not act on contempt. And when we actually went civilly in, when the House of Representatives went civilly in, his position, the position of this administration is that the third branch of government, the federal courts, do not have the ability to decide who is right and wrong on withholding documents. And that's where the case is right now. We're trying to get it decided and get it back to us. Because ultimately, if the courts cannot make him do it and the house cannot make him do it, that much of what we think as our democracy or our republic has been lost.
HANNITY: Do we need more outside councils Congressman Chaffetz? And there's been so many scandals of late, which ones would you think that we need some?
CHAFFETZ: Specifically, I think in the Associated Press and the James Rosen case, I think there's a degree of objectivity that needs to get into the bowels of what's really going on in the administration and the Department of Justice. It's very difficult to peel those back. But that's probably right at the top of my list in terms of the need for some outside counsel.
HANNITY: Congressman Issa?
ISSA: I'm much more of a believer that Congress should do his job. Chairman Goodlatte is on top of the Rosen situation and is a very active chairman, Jason and I both served on that committee. The real Congress is, will Congress, will Republicans leading the House of Representatives, will we do our job and candidly, will the Senate begin doing its job?
I would prefer to see that. If we can't do it, if we continue being stymied, then I'm sure that the speaker and others would make a decision to bring in reinforcements.
But I think the big question American people are asking is, will we hold this administration accountable? Will we put honesty and accountability ahead of the convenient agenda of the president? You know, today, and every day, it seems he has a series of fund-raisers when, in fact, he seems too busy to actually work with us on legislation or on transparency.
HANNITY: Yes, all right, gentlemen. Thanks so much. We're going to continue to follow it. And I appreciate both of you being here.
ISSA: Thank you.