Now, POLITICO is reporting that Boehner is, in fact, slowing Issa's investigation out of fear that it could be too radioactive in an election year:
Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California have decided to slow Rep. Darrell Issa’s drive to hold the attorney general in contempt over the controversial Fast and Furious program, a move that could infuriate conservatives who have been calling for Holder’s resignation.Boehner wants bipartisan support from a party in which not one member broke ranks to impeach and convict a president who committed perjury? Please.
The delay could be a month or even longer, according to lawmakers and aides familiar with the issue.
Some within House GOP leadership circles would like Issa to abandon his plan for a committee and floor vote, which was sparked by a 64-page memo last week, which laid out the case for contempt.
They fear negative political fallout from citing the U.S. attorney general with contempt of Congress in an election year.
House GOP leaders are remaining mum on their plans. On Wednesday, Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy met privately — without any staff present — to discuss how to handle what many House Republicans complain is a glacially slow investigation into the scandal, according to several sources with knowledge of the meeting. Under the Fast and Furious program, federal agents allowed roughly 2,000 guns illegally purchased in the United States to “walk” to Mexican drug cartels as part of a botched plan to track down who was behind the purchases. Two U.S. law enforcements agents, as well as dozens of Mexican citizens, were killed by weapons obtained through the program.
Republican leaders are pushing Issa to do more committee work and to build bipartisan support for the contempt resolution before they let it come to the floor for a vote.
This isn't about getting bipartisan support. It's about doing the right thing and placing this big fat Watergate-with-murder turd squarely in the court of public opinion. That's the only thing that will get Democrats to move.
With Clinton, Democrats were able to turn perjury into a politically-motivated lynching that was just about sex. With Fast and Furious, the Dems will have a much tougher time explaining how the Justice Department has the blood of hundreds of minorities on its hands as well as the blood of at least one Federal agent.
Contrast these two Republicans. First, John Boehner shortly after the 2010 election, when he knew he would become the next Speaker:
Now, Rep. Trey Gowdy, who was elected for the very first time in 2010, speaking on the House Floor one day before the aforementioned POLITICO report:
**UPDATE** In response to an inquiry I made of Issa's office about the POLITICO story, I received this response from his spokesperson, Becca Watkins:
"Chairman Issa appreciates Speaker Boehner's support for the Oversight Committee's investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. While no decisions have been made, the committee will continue to make the case to Members that contempt is a necessary response to the Justice Department's continued refusal to provide critical documents."Watkins directed me to Boehner's office for more information.
h/t War on Guns