Scandal: Before he lied to Congress while under oath about what he knew about targeting reporters, he lied about Fast and Furious. As early as the New Black Panthers case, Eric Holder had a problem with the truth.
That the House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on Department of Justice (DOJ) surveillance of reporters comes as no surprise. People have forgotten about the New Black Panther case, perhaps the most clear-cut case of voter suppression and intimidation ever. On Election Day 2008, New Black Panther Party members in military garb were videotaped intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place.
The slam-dunk prosecution of these thugs was dropped by Holder's Justice Department. When asked why, Holder, on March 1, 2011, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies that the "decisions made in the New Black Panther Party case were made by career attorneys in the department."
Holder lied, for the decisions were made by political appointees. J. Christian Adams, a former career DOJ attorney in the Voting Rights Section, testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that it was Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, an Obama political appointee, who overruled a unanimous recommendation for prosecution by Adams and his associates.
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch and a ruling by Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in response to a suit brought by the group show that "political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ's dismissal of claims in that case."
Fast forward to Fast and Furious, the Obama administration's program to "walk" guns across the border and into the hands of Mexican drug cartels in furtherance of its gun control agenda.
"When did you first know about the program officially I believe called Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge, what date?" House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa asked Holder in sworn testimony on May 3, 2011. "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks," was Holder's response.
Holder lied: A July 2010 memo shows Michael Walther, head of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in Fast and Furious "are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said other documents indicate Holder began receiving weekly briefings on the program from the National Drug Intelligence Center on or before that date.
In an exchange with Sen. Pat Leahy on Nov. 8, 2011, Holder admitted his May 3 testimony was inaccurate when he said he knew about Fast and Furious for a "few weeks." He later changed that to a "couple months."
But the memo from Walther referring to Fast and Furious in detail was sent directly to Holder on July 5, 2010 — not a "couple months" before he testified in May.
No surprise then on May 15, 2013, before the House Judiciary Committee, Holder lied when he said: "In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, this is not something I've been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy."
He personally signed off on James Rosen's warrant. Holder's defenders say the statement is technically correct because he never meant to prosecute Rosen, only to find the leaker. If so, then he lied to a federal judge.
Similarly, Holder's testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that he had recused himself from the Associated Press leak investigation that led to the blanket seizure of call records is not backed up by a formal recusal letter, which is required under such circumstances.
So we have at least four counts of lying to Congress by the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.
When did the lies begin? Looks like right after he took the oath of his office.
Hat tips: Investors Business Daily and Michael Ramirez (Cartoon).