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GOP And Dems See ‘Obstruction’ At DOJ

From The Hill:

Exasperated members see obstruction at DoJ

By Jordy Yager – 06/09/10

Bipartisan criticism of the Justice Department is soaring on Capitol Hill as the executive branch has repeatedly balked at answering congressional requests for information, according to lawmakers and aides.

According to documents obtained by The Hill and more than a dozen interviews with Democratic and Republican members and staffers, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is rebuffing Congress and its investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO)…

Congressional Democrats privately acknowledge that DoJ has not been as forthright as they would like, and letters signed by Capitol Hill Democrats to the department indicate their frustration…

But Republican claims of DoJ’s “stonewalling” have them questioning whether Attorney General Eric Holder is living up to the pledge of responsiveness and transparency he made during his Senate confirmation hearing nearly 18 months ago.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has expressed concern that since 2009, the DoJ has refused to hand over information to the GAO on personnel vacancy trends within the FBI’s counterterrorism division.

At a standstill, the GAO, acting on a bipartisan request from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Grassley, wrote to the DoJ three weeks ago in an attempt to resolve the issue.

In the letter, the GAO referred to the DoJ’s continuous denial of information as “a systemic problem.” The DoJ, citing legal statutes, refused to deliver the data.

“This isn’t a partisan plea; both Republicans and Democrats are looking for answers from the administration, and it’s time for a response,” Grassley told The Hill…

Counter-terrorism is not a priority at the Justice Department. In fact, since it could encourage ‘racial profiling,’ it is probably being fazed out.

Meanwhile, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), outlined three issues to The Hill where he says the DoJ has refused to cooperate with his attempts at congressional oversight: the closure of the Guantánamo Bay military prison, allegations of criminal misconduct by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the DoJ’s dismissal of the voter intimidation case, United States v. New Black Panther Party.

“Rather than making good on his promises [of] openness and transparency, President [Barack] Obama and his administration officials appear committed to a standard of secrecy and stonewalling of Congress,” Smith said. “All this silence, stonewalling and secrecy begs the question — what is the administration trying to hide?”

But House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said that the DoJ has been so forthcoming with requested information that he has stopped having regular lunches at the department’s headquarters with Holder.

“I’ve known Eric Holder for years. I don’t have any problems with him at all,” Conyers said. “We stopped having lunches, because the access is really not a problem.”

Well, if that moral paragon and patriot John Conyers says there is no problem at the DOJ, then there must not be a problem.

Gohmert signed on to the initial bipartisan letter in 2008 asking the GAO to study personnel vacancies within the FBI’s counterterrorism division. At the time, the division was operating with only 62 percent of its funded staff, which hampered the FBI’s “most important mission” and prevented the agency from developing a staff of experienced counterterrorism experts, according to the letter signed by Sens. Leahy and Grassley and Reps. Conyers, Smith and Scott.

In letters to the GAO, the DoJ says it is not required to provide the GAO with vacancy rate information, citing a 1988 opinion issued by DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, which it says grants Congress — not the GAO — access to intelligence-related information, even personnel and human capital data…

Again, the Obama administration wants to keep our counterterrorism agencies understaffed.

After all, they have their priorities.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “GOP And Dems See ‘Obstruction’ At DOJ”

  1. Right of the People says:

    “But Republican claims of DoJ’s “stonewalling” have them questioning whether Attorney General Eric Holder is living up to the pledge of responsiveness and transparency he made during his Senate confirmation hearing nearly 18 months ago.”

    I’d still like to see our Dear Leader’s I-9 form. You are not supposed to be eligible for a federal job unless you fill one out and have it on record with the hiring agency. It is also called the Proof of Citizenship Form. I know I had to.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-9_(form)

  2. proreason says:

    DOSJ not DOJ

    Department of Social Justice.

    We are so past the outdated simplistic notion of justice.

    That was honky’s trick to keep the goodies that he got lucky and invented just before people of color invented them, for his honk self. What’s just about that?

  3. canary says:

    Grassley needs to open a Congressional Investigation.

  4. Mithrandir says:

    Can you imagine the KKK blocking the entrance to a voting building, and then having the Bush D.O.J. do nothing about it? White people would CLEARLY not stand for that, and certainly black people wouldn’t either.

    But now look at what happens when “The watchdogs against racism” are in charge….they turn into Mr. Magoo. . .

  5. wardmama4 says:

    -‘citing a 1988 opinion issued by DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel, which it says grants Congress — not the GAO — access to intelligence-related information, even personnel and human capital data…’-

    -‘Congressional Democrats privately acknowledge that DoJ has not been as forthright as they would like, and letters signed by Capitol Hill Democrats to the department indicate their frustration…’-

    How slick is that – deny both entities of any disclosure or release of information while claiming that only the other entity has the right to the information.

    Neat trick for this the most transparent Administration ever.

    Isn’t there a Recall, Repeal or Impeachment that can be issued against one of these lying, traitorous and criminal scammers before they bring down America for good?

    Where is someone with the real courage to do what needs to be done – walk into the jaws of hell to do the right thing?

    Sad commentary (from both sides) as to the state of American politics, government and of course the complete and utter failure of the msm.

    God Help America.

  6. JohnMG says:

    …..”Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)…..”

    Need I say more?

    As long as this party controls the congress, and as long as Leahy controlls this committee, nothing…and I mean nothing… will get investigated. All Leahy is doing is buying Holder time enough to find all the incriminating evidentiary records and send them off to the shredder, all the while being aided and abetted by……

    …..”House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.)….”

    No, nothing will ever be investigated. After all, they’ve put the foxes in charge of the hen house!


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