Below is the video and transcript of Attorney General Holder’s response to the votes that passed in the House today, holding him In Contempt of Congress, both criminally and civilly – an historic first. Perhaps most pathetic is his literal whining that Rep. Darrell Issa and his Oversight Committee did not help the Justice Department find better ways to protect Border Patrol Agents, like Agent Brian Terry, who has been dead for about 18 months now. Can you imagine Holder’s response if Issa attempted to tell Justice how to protect Border Agents, after Homeland Security has already trained them to “run and hide?” Note that he says the “flawed tactics” used in Fast and Furious began in the “previous administration.” Bush’s Wide Receiver ended two years before Fast and Furious began, and had few similarities to the Obama administration’s dirty work. If you haven’t heard Holder tell Congress, twice, that he had never connected Fast and Furious to Wide Receiver, view it here.
Today’s vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided and politically motivated investigation during an election year.
By advancing it over the past year-and-a-half, Congressman Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety.
Instead of trying to correct problems, it led to a series of flawed law enforcement operations, and instead of helping us find ways to better protect brave law enforcement agents, like Agent Brian Terry who keep us safe, they have led us to this unnecessary and unwarranted outcome.
During this time, the men and women of the United States Department of Justice and I have only focused on the what should and must be our government’s high priority – protecting the American people.
When Fast and Furious first came to light, I. took. action. and ordered an independent investigation into what happened. We learned that the flawed tactics used in this Operation began in the last administration, but I made sure they ended in this one.
I also made sure that Agents and Prosecutors across the country knew that such tactics must never be used again.
I put in place two policies – new safeguards, new leadership to make certain of this, and took extraordinary steps to facilitate robust Congressional oversight.
Now, let me be very clear – that was my response to Operation Fast and Furious. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply not consistent with the facts.
Eric Holder’s Response to Criminal and Civil Contempt Charges (video)