In his most recent letter, Issa refers to the ATF's previous reasons for non-compliance, that there is an ongoing investigation. Issa's argument, which is quite sound, is that the ATF may have the right to withhold documents in a case that Congress is aiding them with but not in a case where ATF is the subject of the investigation.
Perhaps the final paragraph in Issa's letter is the most scathing:
While I am certainly sensitive to protecting the integrity of pending criminal investigations, the Department has not provided information to substantiate its claims or produced other documents unrelated to specific cases. Therefore, I am hereby informing you that the Committee intends to enforce the subpoena issued to you on March 31, 2011. If you do not comply with the subpoena, the Committee will be forced to commence contempt proceedings.The longer the ATF stonewalls, the worse this will look for the administration. Courtesy of whistleblowers at the ATF, it is charged that ATF Director Melson was aware of Operation Fast and Furious, a program that allowed guns to 'walk' into Mexico. Two of those guns were found at the murder scene of Border Agent Brian Terry.
Also, the longer the administration does not find someone in the ATF who authorized the program without approval, the worse it looks for the administration itself. If this extends to Obama - or even Holder - it is Watergate with murder.
Read it all.