Congressman Louie Gohmert’s office released a statement regarding a now retracted remark Attorney General Eric Holder made about former George W. Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Rep. Gohmert, Texas Republican, does not believe the original claim AG Holder made, that then-AG Mukasey had been briefed about gunwalking, was an “inadvertent” one:
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) is challenging the United States Department of Justice for retracting a statement “inadvertently” made by Attorney General Eric Holder to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The retracted statement claimed that his predecessor, then-Attorney General Mukasey, had been briefed about gunwalking. This retraction made by the Justice Department is the second major retraction made in the last seven months.
Though the Justice Department states that this was an “inadvertent” claim, Attorney General Holder made the same claim in stronger terms to Rep. Louie Gohmert on June 7, 2012 in a House Judiciary oversight hearing on The Department of Justice. This statement has not been withdrawn.
Excerpt from Attorney General Holder’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee: (bolding mine)
MR. GOHMERT: “Did you ever go back to your office and say when you found out about Fast and Furious –I demand to know who authorized this? Are things so fast and loose in your office that somebody can authorize the sale to international criminals of American guns that are bringing about the death of even American agents, and no one has to do that in writing?
ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER: “What I did do, I asked the inspector general to conduct an investigation. I put an end to the policy that led to the Fast and Furious debacle. I made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We made changes in the procedures there. And that is in stark contrast to what happened to my predecessor Attorney General Mukasey when he was briefed about the transmission of guns to Mexico and, as far as I can tell, did far less than what I did.”
In a June 14, 2012 letter to AG Holder, Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee writes:
I am aware that the Justice Department produced a memorandum to Attorney General Mukasey in preparation for a November 16, 2007, meeting with Mexican Attorney General Medina Mora.1 At no point does this memo mention Operation Wide Receiver, in which over 300 guns were allowed to walk to Mexico. Instead, the memo appears to refer to a case called Hernandez, which involved a planned controlled delivery – not intentional gunwalking.
To view the letter sent by Sen. Grassley to the Department of Justice and their response, click here.
Part of DOJ’s response where he mentions he made an “inadvertent” statement is here:
From excerpt above:
“As we explained to Chairman Issa, on March 16 2012, and as you note, this briefing paper concerned the case of Fidel Hernandez, not Wide Receiver as the Attorney General inadvertently stated at the hearing.”