Both sides of the aisle are getting frustrated with the White House and the DoJ? Imagine my surprise! Do you think Congress has come to the conclusion yet that they are irrelevant now that the Executive Branch has gone off the reservation with czars by the dozens, and federal agencies calling the shots?
I know y’all will be alot happier when we see perp walks with handcuffs coming out of the White House, but I’m not betting that will be happening anytime soon.
From The Hill
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).
In a statement to The Hill, a spokeswoman for the DoJ said that the department makes every effort to respond to lawmakers in a timely and thorough manner.
We regularly provide briefings on topics upon request as well as send written replies to members of Congress based on individual inquiries.”
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.
However, House and Senate Democrats say they are close to receiving data they sought months ago on various topics, expressing hope that DoJ will work more cooperatively with them.
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.
While another co-signer of the initial GAO study request, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Chairman Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), urged patience in getting the information, he also said that if they didn’t get it soon, members may have to approach Holder about it directly.
“If it’s not resolved soon then we’ll have to have some additional conversations,” Scott said in an interview.
“But we expect it to be worked out on a staff level so that it doesn’t have to get escalated. We’re going to get what we need.”
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?”
Read the rest here.
Does this not beg the question, “When is Congress going to wake up and impeach this dictator-wanna-be?”