Eric Holder vote coming down
Pelosi just announced the Demos will walk out on the vote.
Rep. Chaffetz is kicking ass and taking numbers.
The Demos repeatedly invoke a constitutional duty of the branches of government to cooperate and work with each other. I wonder where that provision is found?
Issa says that the wiretap applications (he cannot give details due to their being under seal) show that high-ups in DoJ (they have to be approved by an Ass't AG, as I recall) show that any reader of them would know that guns were being walked. And this before Brian Terry was killed.
Time for debate has expired. Rep. Dingell moves to remand to committee for additional hearings, largely on Operation Wide Receiver. He chews into ATF leadership pretty well! He says that he's defended the Second Amendment more than any other member of the House (which is a fair claim).
Dingell motion goes to a recorded vote.
Now the vote on whether to cite. It passes, supported by 17 Demos. About 100 did walk out.
A second motion to empower the committee to bring a declaratory action in the District Court. The majority wants to move on two fronts, recognizing that the DoJ isn't likely to move fast on charging the AG.
Issa shuts Cummings up, firmly. Good. The guy's tough.
Second resolution is up ... Cummings calls for a recorded vote. (??? why? I was wondering if Pelosi was clever to stage a walk out. NRA was going to score the vote, and probably other groups would do the same. So maybe with a walk-out Demos could say they hadn't voted against it. But now they've returned, and Cummings make a motion that puts their votes on the record, when he could have just let it pass on the voice vote).
Second resolution passes, 255-93, 4 presents and 89 not voting. (I may be a bit off, I missed the last few seconds of the vote). The last number is quite impressive.
This seems to be a criminal contempt citation. Why didn't the House vote for civil contempt, then send the House Sergeant-at-Arms over to the DOJ to arrest Holder and confine him in the D.C. Jail until he purges his contempt?
Posted by: Hideous at June 28, 2012 03:15 PM
Because our founders were careful to keep prosecutorial power out of the hands of the Congress. Experience has shown that's a bad idea, and it's part of the essential nature of the Westminster Parliamentary System, where one party (or coalition) gains a monopoly on both legislative and executive power for the duration of their term in office.
Excepting France to a certain extent, and Japan as a very weird (by Western standards) special case, I'm not aware of any other "major" country that divides power all that much, although I haven't done a serious survey.
Posted by: Harold at June 28, 2012 06:24 PM
Oops, should have read the front page before making the above comment. Still stand by my last statement, or Clayton Cramer puts it, "My guess is that this might start Civil War 2.0, however. That would not be wise."
Not over this conflict, at least not yet. Haven't read the details of the last use, but destruction of documents certainly warrants it. By comparison, in this case as I've read the House already has many/most? of these documents from leakers, they need them officially confirmed and in some cases unsealed.
Posted by: Harold at June 29, 2012 06:44 AM