“If you do not comply with the subpoena, the Committee will be forced to commence contempt proceedings,” the release promises.
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The text of the complete release follows:
WASHINGTON. D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today, in a letter to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson, criticized the Director for failing to produce any documents in response to a subpoena issued March 31. The subpoena was issued after ATF and Department of Justice officials failed to cooperate in good faith with the Committee’s investigation.
“The Department’s internal policy to withhold documents from what it labels pending criminal investigations may not deprive Congress from obtaining those same documents if they are pertinent to a congressional investigation – particularly in a matter involving allegations that reckless and inappropriate decisions by top Justice Department officials may have contributed to the deaths of both U.S. and Mexican citizens,” Chairman Issa wrote in citing Supreme Court precedents and previous Congressional investigations. “Let me be clear … we are not conducting a concurrent investigation with the Department of Justice, but rather an independent investigation of the Department of Justice – specifically, of allegations that the reckless and inappropriate decisions of Department officials have created a serious public safety hazard. We are asking for documents that relate to decisions such officials made. Congress is legally entitled to all of these documents.”
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