The Fast and Furious scandal is a continued stain on an administration led by the one-time presidential candidate who promised in 2008 to promote government transparency. At the time, candidate Barack Obama said he would reverse the widely criticized practice of President George W. Bush of blocking Congressional requests for information at nearly every turn. If President Barack Obama still believes in the principle of openness, then right now he has the opportunity to act on his promise and order Holder to cooperate with the House committee.
Obama’s Justice Department and other federal law enforcement agencies mismanaged Operation Fast and Furious at every step of the way, from implementation to investigation. Regardless of whether the scandal resulted from willful deceit or simple incompetence on the part of top DOJ officials, Holder must now cooperate. Otherwise, a contempt resolution is necessary.
Mitchel A. Sollenberger is associate professor of political science at University of Michigan-Dearborn. Mark J. Rozell is professor of public policy at George Mason University. They are co-authors of “The President’s Czars: Undermining Congress and the Constitution.”