I case you missed AG Eric Holder’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee last week, in answer to a series of questions, Holder tried to mitigate the seriousness of the DOJ’s pull-back of a letter sent to Grassley on 2/4/11 in which the DOJ lied – saying ATF never lets guns walk. Splitting hairs, Holder said the difference between “lying” and “misinforming” is that lying is dependent on “one’s state of mind”. Get it? I was just trying to misinform you, not lie to you.
Well, one member of the Committee was not amused. Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) had this to say in response: “The thing is, if we don’t get to the bottom of this – and that requires your assistance on that – there is only alternative that Congress has and it is called impeachment, where our subpoena powers are plenary and there can’t be any type of legal immunity or privilege that can be asserted on that.”
According to sources for the linked article:
“Don’t minimize that,” said another, “old Jim is a serious guy, he’s a careful guy. If he’s saying ‘impeachment’ it is because he means that it is a possibility and he’s willing to risk his reputation to say it first — and he is a careful, careful guy.” A third confirmed, “He’s an old dog, and you don’t get to be a successful old dog without knowing all the tricks.” He continued, “anybody that knows the Hill knows that Sensenbrenner wouldn’t jump in on that unless he was damn sure of his target and his ability to hit it.” Sensenbrenner recognizes, said this source, that this is a “death match,” an existential political struggle fought not for points but for keeps. He added, “it wasn’t an idle threat. It was a promise.” Said another source, “If the Obama people don’t understand the importance of Sensenbrenner weighing in on this then they’re stupider than anybody thinks, and that’s pretty stupid already.”