Sensenbrenner, Jim

Contact: Amanda Infield 202-225-5101

Sensenbrenner Questions Attorney General Holder on Fast and Furious

Washington, December 8, 2011 -

“The American people deserve to know the truth, and for the past year, they have not been getting the truth from DOJ about Fast and Furious.”

-Congressman Sensenbrenner 

Click here to watch Congressman Sensenbrenner's questions to Attorney General Holder

Excerpts from today’s hearing:

On inconsistent submissions to Congress:

“As Mr. Issa said, lying to Congress is a federal felony. I don’t want to say that you have committed a felony, Mr. Attorney General, but obviously there have been statements so misleading that a letter had to be withdrawn. I think that some heads should roll; I do agree with Senator Grassley that Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer should be fired. I know that decision is not yours, it’s the President’s, but I think that merely getting the head of the ATF director at the time is not sufficient since it’s obvious that there was knowledge within the Justice Department, what are you going to do to clean up this mess?”

On getting the truth from the Department of Justice:

“Well, tell me, what’s the difference between lying and misleading Congress, in this context? The wagons down the street are in a pretty tight circle, Mr. Attorney General. The American people need the truth, they haven’t gotten the truth from what has been coming out of the Justice Department in the last year, and they are relying on Congress to get the truth. You’re here today, and I appreciate you being here today as a way to get the truth. But the answers that you have given so far, are basically saying somebody else did it.”

On constitutional powers granted to Congress:

“There is really no responsibility in the Justice Department. The thing is, if we don’t get to the bottom of this and that requires your assistance on that. There is only one alternative that Congress has and it is called impeachment, where our subpoena powers are plenary and there can‘t be any type of legal immunity or privilege that can be asserted on that. Now, I have done more impeachments than anyone else in the country and it is an expensive and messy affair and I don’t want to go this far. But if we keep on getting pushed down the road and the can keeps getting kicked, and we don’t get closure to this, what is Congress to do so that we don’t spend all our time in court arguing privilege? That is not a way to get at the truth.”