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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Videos: Takeaways from Eric Holder Testimony in front of Senate Judiciary

At yesterday's Senate Judiciary committee hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder faced questions about Fast and Furious but not exclusively on that operation. There are several noteworthy exchanges but there are many more that are not worth revisiting. In short, all of the exchanges between Holder and Chuck Grassley / Holder and John Cornyn are worth watching. Early on, Holder took exception to Grassley bringing up the details of an alleged private conversation between the two in which Holder told the Senator that someone had been held accountable for a letter that contained false statements.

Grassley does well here:

Senator John Cornyn had two cracks at Holder and did well both times. At one point, Cornyn asked Holder if the latter had apologized to the Brian Terry family. Holder said he hadn't. Cornyn followed up by asking Holder if he'd like to take the opportunity in the hearing to apologize; Holder refused. Here Cornyn's first exchange with Holder, which is very good:

Toward the end of the hearing, Cornyn had the opportunity to grill Holder again; he did not disappoint. In this exchange, Cornyn asks if Holder knows the distinction between Fast and Furious and an operation carried out under the Bush administration known as Wide Receiver. When Holder basically pleads ignorance, Cornyn asks him if he's 'winging it.'

There was one very interesting exchange between Holder and Democrat chairman Patrick Leahy (VT). In an attempt to give Holder the opportunity to clear up his testimony on May 3rd, in which the latter said he'd only heard about Fast and Furious 'over the last few weeks,' Leahy didn't do Holder any favors. Holder's attempt to clarify that there is no real difference between a few weeks and a couple months fell flat. Here is that exchange:

Via Michelle Malkin:

The other Republican who had an opportunity to grill Holder was Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Though he raised some valid questions, he seemed to get mired in legalese and ended up doing most of the talking. Grassley and Cornyn did a better job of making Holder answer several questions in the limited time they had available.

Here is the full hearing for those who have nothing but time on their hands. Note, even if you qualify, you will want to fast forward through most of it. It was disappointing to see Senators Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham choose to confront Holder on completely different issues. Their inability or unwillingness to jump into the Fast and Furious fray seemed out of place. You also might want to check out Chuck Schumer's exchange with Holder if your blood pressure is too low. It is quintessential partisanship as Schumer focuses on Operation Wide Receiver under the Bush administration and calls for the Senate Judiciary committee to investigate that while the House Oversight committee continues to attempt to uncover the truth about Fast and Furious.

To that, I say Mr. Schumer should be careful what he asks for. What he finds may end up being more damaging to the Obama Justice Department than he thinks. Fast forward to the 1:10:34 mark for that one.

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