Rep. Gohmert versus Attorney General Holder: The Encounter
Stay focused and avoid careless remarks that undermine the conservative cause, be it before the cameras or in private conversation.
It was an unfortunate moment from which both men should learn.
Attorney General Holder, Congressman Gohmert isn't your "buddy" and he surely wanted "to go there."
Congressman Gohmert, you are a Congressman now, not a judge.Sstay focused and avoid careless remarks that undermine the conservative cause, be it before the cameras or in private conversation.
Attorney General Holder was willing to be held in contempt of Congress, if necessary, but that doesn't mean "contempt" is not "a big deal" to him.
After all, he'd rather have his obituary describe him as the first black Attorney General of the United States and not add that he was held in contempt by Congress.
Gohmert thought that it was not "a big deal" to Holder because the Justice Department has still not been forthcoming in producing the documents that were the subject of the contempt."
Whether or not the documents were produced was a huge deal, and the Obama Administration obviously did not want to produce them, so Holder didn't produce them.
That doesn't mean that Holder personally did not consider being held in contempt of Congress "a big deal."
It means that President Nixon had his Attorney General Mitchell, and President Obama has his Attorney General Holder.
Herewith the exchange:
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX) Attorney General, Iíve read in the 5th Circuit opinion, about 9600 summaries of transcripts of conversations that the Justice Department had that were made available to attorneys for the terrorists. I still do not understand why your department can provide documents to terroristsí lawyers, and many of them to four out of eight of the terrorists, and not provide them to members of Congress.
Sir, Iíve read you what your department promised, and it is inadequate, and I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: You donít want to go there, buddy. You donít want to go there, okay?
GOHMERT: I donít want to go there?
GOHMERT: About the contempt?
HOLDER: You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust, but never think that that was not a big deal to me. Donít ever think that.
GOHMERT: Well Iím just looking for evidence, and normally weíre known by our fruits, and there have been no indications that it was a big deal, because your department has still not been forthcoming in producing the documents that were the subject of the contempt.
HOLDER: The documents that we were prepared to make available then, weíre prepared to make available now that would have obviated the whole need. This was all about the gun lobby and a desire to have a --
GOHMERT: Sir, weíve been trying to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious where people died, where at least a couple hundred Mexicans died, and we canít get the information to get to the bottom of that, so I donít need lectures from you about contempt, because it is very difficult to deal with asking questions.
We waited Ďtil the contempt was purged, and then we asked questions.
Both men should skip the lectures and do their respective jobs under the Constitution.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.