Michael Gaynor
Rep. Gohmert versus Attorney General Holder: The Encounter
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By Michael Gaynor
April 10, 2014

Stay focused and avoid careless remarks that undermine the conservative cause, be it before the cameras or in private conversation.

It was an unfortunate moment from which both men should learn.

Attorney General Holder, Congressman Gohmert isn't your "buddy" and he surely wanted "to go there."

Congressman Gohmert, you are a Congressman now, not a judge. Stay focused and avoid careless remarks that undermine the conservative cause, be it before the cameras or in private conversation.

Attorney General Holder was willing to be held in contempt of Congress, if necessary, but that doesn't mean "contempt" is not "a big deal" to him.

After all, he'd rather have his obituary describe him as the first black Attorney General of the United States and not add that he was held in contempt by Congress.

Gohmert thought that it was not "a big deal" to Holder because the Justice Department has still not been forthcoming in producing the documents that were the subject of the contempt.

Whether or not the documents were produced was a huge deal, and the Obama Administration obviously did not want to produce them, so Holder didn't produce them.

That doesn't mean that Holder personally did not consider being held in contempt of Congress "a big deal."

It means that President Nixon had his Attorney General Mitchell, and President Obama has his Attorney General Holder.

Herewith the exchange:

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX) Attorney General, I've read in the 5th Circuit opinion, about 9600 summaries of transcripts of conversations that the Justice Department had that were made available to attorneys for the terrorists. I still do not understand why your department can provide documents to terrorists' lawyers, and many of them to four out of eight of the terrorists, and not provide them to members of Congress.

Sir, I've read you what your department promised, and it is inadequate, and I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: You don't want to go there, buddy. You don't want to go there, okay?

GOHMERT: I don't want to go there?

HOLDER: No.

GOHMERT: About the contempt?

HOLDER: You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust, but never think that that was not a big deal to me. Don't ever think that.

GOHMERT: Well I'm just looking for evidence, and normally we're known by our fruits, and there have been no indications that it was a big deal, because your department has still not been forthcoming in producing the documents that were the subject of the contempt.

HOLDER: The documents that we were prepared to make available then, we're prepared to make available now that would have obviated the whole need. This was all about the gun lobby and a desire to have a –

GOHMERT: Sir, we've been trying to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious where people died, where at least a couple hundred Mexicans died, and we can't get the information to get to the bottom of that, so I don't need lectures from you about contempt, because it is very difficult to deal with asking questions.

We waited 'til the contempt was purged, and then we asked questions.

Both men should skip the lectures and do their respective jobs under the Constitution.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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