For nearly two years, House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) has tried to exploit the tragedy of a series of botched gun stings that led to a federal law enforcement agent’s death in order to score political points against Attorney General Eric Holder. The gun stings that are the focus of Issa’s witchhunt against Holder began when George W. Bush was president and Holder was an attorney in private practice. Nevertheless, Issa eventually forced the House Republican leadership to hold a contempt of Congress vote against Holder, although the leaders buried that vote on the same day that the Affordable Care Act was upheld in a likely attempt to prevent Issa’s witchhunt from receiving much media coverage.
This week’s Inspector General report was no whitewash. It recommended discipline against 14 DOJ officials and found “a pattern of serious failures” associated with the gun stings. In other words, it proves that Holder’s Justice Department is fully capable of examining its own dirty laundry and determining which officials need to be disciplined or removed because they performed their job poorly. Issa’s witchhunt does little more than distract from this important effort.