Rep. Sensenbrenner Invokes "Impeachment" Over Fast And Furious

December 08, 2011 11:30 am ET — Matt Gertz

In the latest example of Republican investigators allowing partisanship and hyperbole to overcome common sense and their duty to the American people, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) suggested that "impeachment" might be necessary to "get at the truth" over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' failed Operation Fast and Furious.

Sensenbrenner made the comment while questioning Attorney General Eric Holder during a congressional hearing about the Justice Department's responses to inquiries into the operation. While asserting that he didn't "want to go this far," Sensenbrenner said that impeachment was "the one alternative Congress has" if DOJ refuses to be more forthcoming, because "there can't be any immunity or privilege that can be asserted" against subpoenas. He did not specify whether he was referring to impeaching Holder himself or President Obama.

SENSENBRENNER: The thing is that if we don't get to the bottom of this, and that requires your assistance on that, there is only one alternative that Congress has, and it's called impeachment, where our subpoena powers are plenary and there can't be any type of a legal immunity or privilege that can be asserted on that. Now, you know I've done more impeachments than anybody else in the history of the county. It is an expensive and messy affair, and I don't want to go this far. But if we keep on getting pushed down the road, and the can keeps on getting kicked, and we don't get closure on this, what is Congress to do so that we don't spend all of our time in court arguing privilege, which is not a way to get at the truth?


This is far from the first time Congressional Republicans have allowed rhetoric to exceed reason in their discussions of investigations, particularly Fast and Furious. Meanwhile, the real public safety crisis of gun trafficking remains ignored at best, and hidden at worst