“This is of great concern to us,” he said. “While we are legally prohibited from commenting on the content of sealed court documents, we disagree with the chairman’s assertions.”
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, ranking Democrat on the committee, said in yet another letter Tuesday, this one to Mr. Issa, that he was concerned the chairman had “mischaracterized the contents and significance of the wiretap applications.”
Mr. Cummings said Mr. Issa had omitted critical facts, which undermined his conclusions and distorted his representations, though he did not go into detail on how. In addition, parts of the Cummings letter had been redacted.
“I continue to hope that we can work together in a cooperative and bipartisan manner that does not compromise criminal investigations and prosecutions,” he said.
The committee and Republican leaders in the House warned Mr. Holder in a letter last month that he must fully address concerns outlined by investigators in the Fast and Furious operation or face a contempt citation.
A 64-page draft contempt resolution and an accompanying 17-page staff briefing paper explained what Mr. Issa called the “reckless conduct” of the Fast and Furious investigation and the “hardships” faced by the family of a U.S. Border Patrol agent killed with a weapon purchased in the probe.
As the wiretaps have been sealed, the committee said it cannot publicly release them, but copies have been sent to the committee minority and the wiretaps were made available for review by the full committee.