tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News June 24, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
president. i'm chris wallace. a constitutional standoff pits house republicans against the president. the full house is set to vote this week whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt. while the president asserts executive privilege, refusing to turn over documents. we'll talk with the congressmen leading the fast and furious probe, darrell issa as well as elia cummings, the pam' panel'p democrat. with the u.s. spending billions to buy foreign oil what can be done to boost domestic oil production? we will ask t. boone pickens who has a dramatic new plan. and all of washington is wond r wondering what the supreme
court will do this week about obama care. we will ask our sunday panel to game out what it will mean for your healthcare and the november election. all right now on "fox news sunday." >> chris: and hello again from fox news in washington. the showdown over the botched gun trafficking operation known as fast and furious escalated dramatically this week with the president asserting executive privilege over key documents and a house committee voting attorney general holder is in contempt of congress. joining us now to discuss the confrontation are darrell issa. and from san antonio the pane panel's top democrat, elia cummings. assuming there is no deal with the administration over the documents you are seeking, congressman issa, will the house vote attorney general holder in contempt this week? >> yes, i believe they will both republicans and democrats will vote that. >> chris: you are saying it is going to be bipartisan?
>> i believe it will be bipartisan. there are a number of democra s democrats, 31 who wrote to the administration asking them to be forthcoming. many of them will stay with us now that the administration has not been. >> chris: but no doubt in your mind the house will vote holder in contempt? >> well, chris, it is regre regrettable we are here and we would certainly like to not be here and if the president and attorney general holder would simply start produceing the documents they know they could produce to us that are not by any means going to be covered by executive privilege, this could be delayed or even eliminated. but we to see the documents first. we can't have a promise that we are going to be satisfied and dismiss this contempt. >> chris: and failing that kind of an agreement, then what? >> well, it is the speaker's decision but he announced we will vote this week if there isn't a negotiated settlement. >> chris: give us an example of the kind of document that is all that important that you say is going to really get to the
bottom of the case and is clearly not a nationaller of privilege?privilegmatter of exe >> after congress and senator grassley got a letter which was untrue clearly untrue that said they don't ge let guns walk t atf director kenneth nelson sent an e-mail in which he has said to us in sworn testimony that in fact he had concerns and we want to see that e-mail because that is an example where he was saying if we believe his sworn testimony that guns walked and he said it shortly after february 4 and on july 4 when told us that we began asking for that document. >> chris: this is an e-mail between him and whom? >> and his handlers of justice. you know, the atf director effectively reports to the deputy attorney general. this e-mail would have circulated to them. we would like to know not just where did he send it how about talked about it because that is a point at which shortly after february 4 they should have
known that that february 4 letter was untrue. >> chris: congressman cummings we will get to the whole question of nelson because it is important in a little bit. let me just ask you in this overall question do you believe that the house is going to vote failing a.b. agreemen agree --g an agreement is going to vote holder in contempt and this would be the first time in history that either house has ever voted the attorney gener l general, the chief law enforcement officer of the land in contempt. what do you think of this kind of action? >> first of all, i think it is extremely unfortunate and i absolutely tonight think that we need to be at that place. you know, over a year ago chairman issa accused holder of authorizing these tactics and nothing could be further from the truth from the evidence that we have already gotten. there is no evidence that he knew about it. the evidence that he authorized or co condoaned it condoned it.
i'm really kind of saddened that at this point in the history of the congress we would be finding this attorney general in contempt. and you know, chris, i think that -- and i'm calling on speaker boehner to come forth and show the strong leadership this i know he will and sit down with the attorney general to resolve this matter. the attorney general has made it clear that he is willing to work with this congress. he has already turned over 7,600 documents and gone through millions of e-mails. and has even given up what is called internal deliberative documents. these are the types of documents that attorney gener l generals over and over year after year after year have held close to them -- themselves and their offices. but he has done that. and so i think he -- all he has asked for is a good faith promise that we would bring
these contempt proceedings to some kind of conclusion and he is offering to sit down with house leadership and work it out and i hope we do that. i really do. >> let me get to you, congres congressman issa. let's assume that in fact the house votes this week to hold holder in contempt. then what? because you can refer it to the u.s. attorney who works for holder and all likelihood will say he is not going to prosecute his boss. file a lawsuit in federal court which will take years. then you can impeach him. you can arrest him or try to arrest him and have a standoff between a sergeant and arms and his security people or do you just let it sit there? >> chris, i'm going continue my investigation. i left a message with brian terry's mother josie last mon h month. >> chris: bray enteby enterbrie border patrol agent killed in 2010 and two of the weapons
from fast and furious were found at the site of his murd r murder. >> i told her that we will continue regardless of what the vote is this week. we have an obligation to get to the truth about fast and furious and about those responsible specifically rela related to both his death and the cover up. having said that mine is not automatically to look at post contempt. mine is to continue investiga e investigating and doing my job along with mr. cummings of a host of other abuses and failures gsa and other scandals because we need to get corrective action. i would take exception with my colleague in that i did not say that eric holder always knew. i know that lanny brewer knew well before the retraction. >> chris: who is the head of the criminal division. >> because he has said that to me that he thought this was a good idea but badly executed. having said that, we in fact are simply trying to get to the truth when we were told a lie and that is what the contempt is about. it is about the cover up. >> chris: okay. and we will get back to that in
a moment. congressman cummings, if i may, and you can respond to him as well if you want in your answ r answer. >> i certainly -- i plan to. >> chris: okay, good. fast and furious as congressman issa points out is not just another washington scandal. someone was killed here. brian terry a border patrol agent with some of the guns u e used here and this week here is what terry's parent parent had. >> there is something that they don't want us to know and there is something to hide. >> i think they are hiding something. i think they are liying and h hiding it. >> chris: a year ago, congres congressman cummings, you told the terries, the parents this. >> we will not rest until every single person responsible for all of this no matter where they are are are brought to justice. >> chris: congressman cummings can you honestly say that you have kept that promise? >> i have kept that promise and i will keep that promise.
you got to understand a year ago i had a nephew who was slaughtered and shot with a g n gun. i see it in my district and i see it in my city. i see what guns can do. and i am determined to do that. but you got to understand something, chris. this contempt proceeding has nothing to do with the murder of brian terry. what we are dealing with is and chairman issa has made it clear what we are dealing with now some documents where there is an effort to, number one, figure out how this false document was submitted to senator grassley and keep in mind that there was false information, chris, that was sent to the legislative department of the department of justice from the folks down there in phoenix that is the t atf. these are the same people, by the way, many of them who were carrying on operations like
fast and furious since 2006. in other words, they were operating under the bush administration. they sent the false documents up there and mr. issa knows that. he knows that. and again, and let me finish. and 1300-pages are documents are deliberative -- internal deliberative documents have already been presented to us by mr. holder. and those doppler we hav -- wen those. and all the.org arattorney gens asked for and he sat at a meeting and he said look i'm willing to turn over documents but just you give me some assurances that you will make a good faith effort for us to bring the contempt piece to an end. and he is not -- >> chris: let me -- >> let me -- >> let me finish. i'm almost finished. >> chris: this is a key point and i want to ask congressman issa about it and also just explain to folks who haven't been following this closely.
in february of 2011 a little over a year ago, the justice scalia tick -- a little over a year ago the justice department sent a letter to senator grassley saying there had been no gun walking operation where they let guns go over the board. in december of 2011 they had to send another letter to congress saying that wasn't true, retracting the letter. that is why february of 2011 is a big date. cockmacongressman issa you talt finding the truth but refused to hold public hearing with the people at phoenix atf who ran the operation. you refused to hold a public hearing with the former head of atf, kennell son th ken nelson. he has testifyd that he he never told the higher ups at justice department about fast and furious. >> no, chris -- >> chris: he testifyd that he did tell them. >> well, we will get to that in a second. and you also in the case of these letters you are seeking
documents after february of last year which may be politically embarrassing and show that they were scrambling to come up with an explanation for their false denial. how does that tell you what happened two months earlier to brian terry? >> this period february 4 to december. first of all, kenneth nelson told us on july 4 he had sent shortly after february 4-cent an e-mail. we want a copy of that. we would like to have kennet kennethnelson and a gentleman named cunningham who threatened to take the fifth and a number of the other individuals before us. before wu bring them before us we need to see the documents produced perhaps as and mr. mr. cummings says it very well. perhaps these people were liyig to their losses. but we are not going to bring them in unless we have the ki d kinds of questions we need to ask. i want every one of those people here. i expected to have a panel. part of what you do is you get testimony. >> chris: you so far refused to have kenneth nelson.
>> we have not refused. >> chris: has he testified before the committee? >> he testified for two days. >> chris: in a public hearing? >> no, in a private gathering with republicans and democrats under oath. our lawyers were asking those questions. from that we asked for documents. our in te intention is to havem back on a panel along with dennis burke and others. >> chris: i hate to interrupt but you we have limited time. congressman cummings does that satisfy you? >> no, i have asked the chairman to bring the atf director nelson before us. he has refused to. we asked for witnesses to come before the public hearing. he has refused to do that. all i'm saying is i -- the chairman in me has a willing partner if we are really going to be about the business of keeping our promise to the terry family. i want to do that. that is so very, very importa t important. but i can tell you that again and i think and i have said it before, chris, i think with
regard to getting these documents we are on the one foot line of a field. and i have absolutely no doubt that if speaker boehner showed the strong leadership that i know he will we can sit down, work this thing out with the attorney general and move on. >> chris: i hate to interrupt but we have limited time and i want to ask you each one more question. the president, of course, asserted executive privilege this week and congressman issa here is what house democratic leader pelosi had to say after that about the fast and furious investigation. >> they are going after eric holder because he is supporting measures to overturn the voter suppression initiatives in the states. this is no accident. it is no coincidence. it is a plan on the part of republicans. >> chris: congressman cummings, congress started the investigation of fast and furious in january of 2011 just one month after brian terry was killed and almost a year before holder got into these voter
suppression cases. question, what is nancy pelosi talking about? >> i think that there are a number of people they look at attorney general holder and they themselves ask why has he become the punching bag for so many republicans. why is he the subject of all these conspiracy theories. you you knoyou know what christ sim' a lawyer 86 i'm used to getting to the bottom of things and real solving things and moving forward. no matter what other people may think, i think we a duty, a duty to the american public, a duty to the congress of the united states at this critical moment to get the documents. i know we can get them. just a mat ever of sitting down and talking to holder and get the documents and get them resolved. >> chris: not the question a. >> not the question a moment ago. >> chris: i do want to ask congressman issa a final
question. house speaker boehner said the executive privilege changes everything. let's watch. >> the decision to invoke executive privilege is an admission that white house officials were involved in decisions that misled the congress and have covered up the truth. >> chris: question, do you have any evidence that white house officials were involved in these decisions that they kno knowingly misled congress and are involved in a coverup? >> no, we he don't. and what we are seeking are documents we know to exist. february 4 to december that are in fact about brian terry's murder. who knew and why people were liying about it. and get to the truth. is all we want. eric holder ends up being the custodian of the documents. we would go to the deputy attorney general just as easyiy if he would give us the documents. we are looking for the documents internal to the false statement and not part of the deliberative process.
>> chris: i want to be clear. we got to get out. no evidence after this point that the white house is invol e involved in a cover up? >> and i hope that they don't get involved. i hope stays at justice and justice cooperates. ultimately justice lied to the american people on february 4 and didn't make it right for ten months. >> chris: we to leave it there. congressman cummings and issa, thank you both so much. we will follow what happens in the house this week. up next, we will hear from t. boone pickens who has a new idea about how to cut our dependence on foreign oil. emily's just starting out... and on a budget. like a ramen noodle- every-night budget. she thought allstate car insurance was out of her reach. until she heard about the value plan. see how much you could save with allstate. are you in good hands? see how much you could save with allstate. now, tre's gentle, dependable constipation reland mere... and me. new dulcolax laxative tablets for women are comfort-coated... so they're gentle on sensitive stomachs.
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can be done to reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil. joining us it the man with a plan, ledge endary energy executive t. boone pickens ha e have, mr. pickens welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thanks, chris. >> chris: the last time that many of us heard from you about energy was four years ago when you were pushing a major national investment in wind power. here is what you said then. >> america's is blessed with one of the best wind corridors in the world. using private investment in technology that already exists we can supply 20% of our electricity needs. >> chris: now, you are off wind power. what happened? >> price. wind is priced off margin. the margin's natural gas. when i made that ad, natural gas was $7. today natural gas is $2.50. you can't finance a wind deal unless you have $6 natural gas.
>> chris: and i just want to point out before we get to natural gas which is the reason you are here, true that you lost $150 million promoting and invest manager wind power? >> yes, he he. >> chris: does that hurt? >> yes. >> chris: okay. >> how could you ask a question like that? >> chris: i guess it is a stupid question. >> sure, it was painful. >> chris: now, you are pushing natural gas. why? >> it is -- well, it is up every street and down every alley in the united states. the lajeunesseest natural resource that we have. dark the largest natural resource that we have and we are now talking about exporting it it out of the country. use it here. increase the demand for natural gas and use it here. don't send our cheap clean -- it is 30% cleaner than diesel. don't shift it out to china or whereever else and import dirty opec crude. i mean we are going to go down as the dumbest generation in the world if we do that. i mean we are fools if we do it
because we have so much natural gas it is unyou believable. but we also have a lot of oil, too. we have -- we are increasing our oil in the united states. and that is all because the i industry has done a fabulous job of developing techniques to recover both oil and gas. >> chris: let's focus on the natural gas which you are sa saying is cheaper and cleaner and we don't have to ship trillions of dollars to opec to our enemies. your idea is to convert this nation's 8 million heavy duty trucks, the 18 wheelers to natural gas. what does that mean for pollution? and what does that mean in terms of dependence on foreign oil? >> dependence on foreign oil first. there is 250 million vehicles in america. i just want 8 million. give me the 8 million. what can i do for us? if i had the 8 million that would be 3 million-barrels of oil a day. we import 4.4 million-barrels a
day from opec. so we would cut opec by -- we could cut them by. >> chris: 60%. >> more than 60. close to 70% we could cut them. with just the 8 million. it that is like a fle freebie. it is moving in that direction and that is what my opponents say, well, you just let the free market take over and let it happen because natural gas is $1.50 to $2 a gallon cheaper than diesel and i say okay if you want to do that it will take you eight to ten years. if you want to go ahead and do something as far as legislation is concerned, you can do it in half that time. >> chris: well, let's get into that. the biggest problem with natural gas is that we don't have the infrastructure for natural gas. you have to convert all of those heavy duty trucks to be natural gas consumers and put natural gas filling stations
along the interstates that don't eastboundist now. your answer that you are are pushing in congress is what you call the natural gas act which would give 3.8 billion north credits see i have done my research in companies to build the infrastructure. you lost in the senate. >> i lost because the 18 wheelers were not germane to a highway bill, a transportation bill. 18 wheelers were not germane. so they were deemed nongermane so i have to have 60 votes instead of 5 1*. any place but washington 51-47 wins, okay but not here. when you say 3.8 billion it had a pay for in it. it does not cost the taxpayers one penny. so who does it pay for it? the people that are buying the fuel. it is like a toll road. if you tuesday you pay for it. if you don't you don't pay for it. >> chris: let's go through the
on corrections to your -- objections to your plan. eric cantor says this would be another example of washington picking winners and losers gi e giving this money to the natural gas industry if it is so good the private sector will find a way to pay for it. >> exactly. and that is going to happen. you can have it twice as fast and not have to pay anything. eriair knowseric knows that. we discussed it. here the people opposed to me are coke industries. >> chris: that has nothing to do with coca-cola. that is the c krch brothers and they are opposed to your using natural gas for transportation because. >> they do not want to see the price of natural gas go up because they are in the ferti e fertilizer and chemical business and import 61,000-barrels of opec crude every day and also the third largest on subsidy for ethanol. so everything i'm talking about
is the kochs do not like it. >> chris: and they would like to use the natural gas for their fertilizeer and other things and if you are spending it for heavy duty trucks it will raise the price for them. >> yes, exactly. >> chris: another objection is that you get this huge surge of natural gas that we have been getting through, we have got a little diagram here, animation. fracing where drillers fracture energy rich rocks which lets the natural gas contain in the rocks escape. the criticism is that you also release toxic materials like benzene and that you endanger our water supply. >> give me some example of that happening. the largest aquifer in north america extends from midland, texas, to the south dakota border across 8 states. there have been over 800,000
wells fractured in that area. kansas, oklahoma, texas, all of them. they manage the aquifer no problem. there is no -- i don't know of any case. i have fracked over 3,000 welled myself and we never damaged any aquifer or any water. aquifers occur almost always above 1,000 feet. freshwater is above 1,000 feet down in the earth. and you are down 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 feet fracturing here. >> chris: so you are saying one thing isn't going to get into the other. let me bring up the last obje t objection. >> i want to talk about infrastructure, too. >> chris: the recent drop in oil prices with the economic slowdown. take a look at this. in april, gas was $3.88 a gallon. now, it is $3.48 and there are projections by the end of the year we could be under $3. i don't have to tell you when
the price of gas falls so does the sense of crisis. >> sure, i mean no question. that is good for our economy. that is great. if you look back historically for 40 years always when gasoline prices went up the american people got upset and politicians started to talk about doing something. we never hadden in energy plan in this country in 40 years. the only time we talk about it is when gasoline prices are up. they come down and we quit ta k talking about it. why are we in the fix today where we import over 60% of our oil? why are we in that spot today? because of cheap gasoline. is exactly why we are there. if we would have had expensive gasoline we would have figured this out and gotten on our own resources. i'm in touch with a lot of people and when i startd that plan four years ago, it will be four years july 8 i started that. i have a million 700,000 people signed up with me. i have made hundreds of speec speeches across the united
states. i have done 50 town halls across the united states. and i am in touch with the grass roots on energy. >> chris: now, we are getting into politics and we a couple of minutes left. you supported john mccain four year a's go. you say that you have never voted for a democrat for president in your life. are you impressed with either president obama or governor romney when it comes to their plans for energy? >> well, if you look at obama when received the nomination in '08 denver, he said in ten years we will not import any oil from the mid east. never again has he mentioned that 86 don't know whether he had a plan or doesn't have a plan. now, is the time to show up with a plan. now, if you look at romney, romney has the kind of the skeleton of a plan. but i haven't heard his plan yet either. but this is an opportunity for us to rebuild our economy off the back of cheap energy. we had the cheapest energy in the world in the united states. we are 15% less on oil costs.
we are a fraction on natural gas and we are a half of gasoline. >> chris: finally, do you intend to get involved in the presidential race this year? >> you mean run? >> chris: , well, you know, i'm sure there are a lot of people listening to you right here that would say that is what we need. are you going to support one of these two guys? >> i will. i will support the one that has the energy plan for america. >> chris: are you saying then that you are not going be a sure republican vote? >> well, i -- i think -- i think that romney will show up with the plan is what i think. because i have seen obama and heard what he says but he never has a plan. he has never come forth with a plan for energy for america. >> chris: have to leave it there. thank you for coming in today. always a pleasure to talk with you, sir. and you you decide to come you are welcome here any time.
>> i will come to you first. >> chris: thank you, sir. up next, the supreme court set to announce one of its biggest rulings in decades. the sunday panel weighs in on what the court will do about obama care and what it will mean for all of us. fore! no matter what small business you are in, managing expenses seems to... get in the way. not anymore. ink, the small business card from chase introduces jot an on-the-go expense app made exclusively for ink customers. custom categorize your expenses anywhere. save time and get back to what you love. the latest innovation. only for ink customers. learn more at chase.com/ink
we finally passed reform that will make healthcare affordable and available for every american. this was the right thing to do. >> unless the court throws out the entire are law of the house no vote to repeal whatever is left of obama care. >> chris: president obama and speak are of the house john boehner setting the stage for this week's big news, the supreme court ruling on obama care. it is time for our sunday gro p group. brit hume, fox news senior political analyst. kirsten powers of the daily beast website. nicole wallace, communications director in the bush white house and author of the novel it's classified. and jeff zelany from the new york times. brit, how big a deal is the ruling this week. what are the stakes for president obama and what will it end up saying about the role of government in our lives?
>> a very big deal. the stakes are very high for the president. they are high and deep for everybody involved in the issue which includes all of congress and both presidential candida e candidates and i think it is huge and what i said about it is that we don't know what the court is going to do. there has been some speculation if the court blows it up by declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional and pulling out the funding mechanism that basically supports it that will be better for the president because it will take the monkey off ace back and the ununpopular law will be shot down. i believe if it is struck down which is the single achievement he devoted so much of his first term as illegitimate i don't think that helps. if it is not struck down it remains i think an unpopular are law. the court's judgment might add a little sense of legitimatcy o it.
i don't think very much. the law has been consistently unpopular and i think it will remain a burden for tim. the reaction will be whatever it going to be. the court may come down in any number of different directions. maybe go off in a bunch of different directions and have a hard time reac reaching majori. we'll see. >> chris: none of us knows who has the slightest idea. what are you hearing if the democratic contents. what are most anticipating is going to happen and what is the reaction going to be from the white house if the court stri e strikes down all or part of obama care. >> there is a lot of fear. people thought for sure this is constitutional and not going to be an issue and then realized once it got before the court there was a problem. i think they can work some to their advantage if they handle it correctly and probably think that as well. ultimately the view of democr t democrats is best case scenario is upheld in its entirety even though there are political down
falls with that this is his central landmark deal and to say that he did something unconstitutional would be bad. if it is struck down in its entirety they could try to use it in the sense it is overrea h overreach. the pew poll, only 15% of the people actually know what the healthcare law says. we have the streams from the media this person is going to die now because of the preexisting condition can't get coverage and taken off of parent's coverage and so on and they can turn this into you didn't really realize what you had. >> chris: nicole, while the overall law according to the polls is unpopular. there are pecks quite popular. allowing your kids to stay on coverage until you are 26. >> depends who you ask, right. >> chris: generally speaking people like that idea. certainly the kids do. ensurensureing coverage even iu
have a preexisting condition. those are the things people like. if the court strikes down all or part of obama care what is the challenge for republicans? how do they show that they are part of the solution to the issues that kirsten raises and not part of the problem? >> the cost of healthcare has always been a dangerous topic for republicans. and i remember in 2004 that we were always prepared to have something constructive to say because that is the piece of this debate that everybody ca e cares about. that doesn't really break down the partisan lines doing something about the cost of healthcare is something that democrats and republicans have to have an answer to. what is interesting and the opportunity for the romney cam a paicampaign, if you look baco the primary where his position in massachusetts was a big burden he had to carry, i think he largely freed himself from that and is having this philosophical debate about the role of government in american life is the one that republic n republicans have been able to lead on and i think the other opportunities for the romney campaign is the vital importance of victory in
november when it comes down to the court and that power to appoint justices is something that romney can certainly thrust into the lime light in a presidential contest that is largely revolved around the economy thus far are. >> chris: jeff, let's run through various scenarios and you give me your take on what if this then that. how does it play if the court strikes down the whole law? >> if the court strikes down the whole law there is no question that thereth is an immediate or at least a short-term hit for president obama and probably a serious one. he had a democratic house and senate and it was supposed to be a central achievement and it failed. >> chris: he spent more than a year of the country's time on this. >> more than a year. and the white house is sort of loath to talk about this but you, of course, they are working behind the scenes to plan the scenarios and kind of under the making lemonade out of lemons scenario. they don't prefer this but it might give us a chance to reargue some of the things that we tried a couple of years ago
and failed by sort of branding this healthcare law as something other than a mandate. no one inside the white house wants the court to do this, of course. if that happens they see a potential silver lining but only because they are force inside the situation. >> chris: if the justices strike down just the individual mandate how does that play? >> if they strike down just the individual mandate that is probably the best case scenario that some people inside the white house think they can get at this point. who knows. what if all of the sort of weekend coverage about there is already democratic finger poi t pointing about did the white house argue this in the right way. should they have been planning for that scenario. if they only do that you will see the white house initially from the beginning try and point out the things that people like about the bill, the preexisting conditions et cetera. what is most interesting to watch is what does mitt romney do? planning to come to washington next wednesday or thursday. i don't know if he will stand on the steps of the preem court
or what he will do. it will shine the spot light on his healthcare plan. how he handles this is the bi biggest unknown and it will be fascinating to watch. >> chris: if they uphold it, on the one hand, you could say that is good for the white house. it does mean the legal remedy is out and if you oppose obama care the only way is to elect a republican president to repeal it. >> it reenergizes the repeal and replace and probably helps mitt romney more than anything at all. we also have the possibility what is there is a retirement on the supreme court this week. i doubt there will be but that would amplify the president's ability he is trying to run against the supreme court in some respects. i'm not sure how much that will work because this election is about the economy but we have to leave ourselves open to the possibility of that. >> chris: i want to ask you in the time we have left, brit, assuming they are they strike a care do you see campaigning against the court this is a decision by a republican court and if you elect a republican
president the court will become even more conservative? >> the administration or president might do that. it would be a mistake to do that. this is a president who has become known to the public as a blamer. here again he would be blaming someone else for something of his that failed. my sense is it wouldn't work. what would be wise to do and the same thing romney would be wise to do is to have some plan ready to go and say that failed and let's move forward and try this, this and this. the republicans would be in this situation as well. the republicans have been sa saying this isn't any good. what is your plan? governor romney can come out and say we want to have tort reform and do some of the ideas that republicans tried to advance during the healthcare reform debate and didn't go anywhere with them. they he would have the outlines of what to say. both sides need something constructive to say. i don't think blame casting is going to work. >> chris: have to take a break here. up next the showdown over
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congressional republicans are focused on this politically motivated taxpayer funded election year fishing expedition. >> this is not about eric hol holder. it is about the department of justice and justice in the united states of america. >> chris: white house press secretary jay carney and republican congressman jason h chaffiv trading charges over what went wrong with operation torts. what ifast and furious. what is your stand? are house republicans overrea h
overreaching? is the obama white house involved in a coverup? >> i think the scent of a cov r coverup is strong now. the documents being withheld here, i don't think there is any evidence by the way, this is not an executive privilege claim being made because there is presidential communications which is where the strongest privilege lies are involved here. this is about internal justice deliberations that so far as we no don't involve the president or the white house. and what the justice department is saying is hey look, we got to have confidentialallity he e here. we can't have congress snooping in our internal deliberations. the courts recognized some privilege in that area but not much and i think it is frivolous claim. there was a false letter sent here and evidence of coverup and the committee is trying to get to the bottom to see who said what to whom and when and what the process was. this is the kind of thing that investigating committees in congress are entitled to are
eck eastboundtive agencies which are creatures congress. created by congress. funded by congress. are supposed to investigate. the effect will be to delay matters until probably after the election. that i think satisfies the obama white house and the hol holder justice department's purposes here which is to put this off. >> chris: let me just again for people who haven't been follo following the key he here is that in february of 2011 the justice department sent a letter to congress denying that there had ever been a gun walking operation to allow guns to be bought in this country and sent over the border to mexican drug cartels. denied that it ever happened. by december of 2011 they had to retract that and say no, in fact there had been and it was operation fast and furious. what darrell issa the chairman is seeking are those documents which at the least, kirsten would say obviously as they are scrambling around and realizeig at some point that the denial is false they are trying to sort this olympic out and figure out how to handle it and conceivabley covering up who
knew what when. why not as just a matter of fairness in an congressional investigation why not turn that over to congress? >> i think the white house would say or the administration would say or the justice department would say any one in any administration would say frankly when you hand over that wide array of documents to the other party they are going to go through and start looking for things to. >> not just the other party. both parties of congress. >> this is a totally party son investigation. >> it as totally partisan investigation. they keep saying that we want to get to the bottom of what happened to this agent. that investigation has already taken place and we know that there tragically was this program which the administration disavowed, shut down, had an investigation in o into, it. the additional information they are asking for actually doesn't really relate to any of that. it relates to the fact thatth is what is difficult for holder to recover from the initial letter. >> chris: don't you think in the scrambling around in the months after there might be interesting information that comes out well wait a minute, i
told you about that, i told lanny brewer, head of the criminal division or holder got that member ho memo on that da. >> how is it going to change anything regarding the atf agent is the question. >> congress is manifestly entitled to investigate the internal processes that led to a false letter and the aftermath of it. they are investigating two things. what happened that led to the agent's death and what happened in the aftermath. both of legitimate questions. >> we already know what happen that led to the agent's death. it was this program. they are trying to pin it on eric holder. that is all they are trying to do. it is not about whether the program was good or bad. the program was bad. is was stupid and has been shut down and it has been investigated. >> a false letter was written. how did that come about? >> it came from the atf. >> chris: you worked in the bush white house and they got into a battle with a democratic house who were seeking documents about the firing of u.s. attorneys and the bush
white house asserted executive privilege over those documents. how is this different? >> well, three thoughts. one i have been to that movie and a i know how it ends and all the documents will be turned over. >> chris: but they got turned over after the election. >> three things happened when the white house exerted executive privilege. one, they guaranteed that a story that unfortunately with few exceptions was being foll w followed carefully and closely by on the right, it wasn't b being followed as closely as it probably should have been by all media outlets and now it will. the white house has itself to blame for that. by exerting executive privilege they made a lot of the voters they are going to be trying to appeal to in november deeply suspicious of the white house and justice department. there is no one in obama's cab be net with a worst relatio relationship with congress and both sides than holder. so they really exacerbated those existing tensions. and third, when the white house was called to turn over documents in the u.s. attorney case there was not the life of an american federal agent lost.
this is so much more serious and the stakes are so much more dire and grave in this situation. >> chris: jeff, how does the romney campaign feel about this confrontation? because there is talk that whether they are entitled legitimate hi tly to the docums or not it plays into the narrative that republicans are obstructionists and involved in washington gotcha games. i haven't heard much from the romney campaign or boston hea headquarters in the last week? >> this ising to that governor romney's campaign is fine with letting it play out now. if it it became an issue and overtook the economy that would be a problem. that is not likely to happen. this election is about the economy. it goin goss is going to be abt the economy. how house speaker boehner decides to handle this in the coming week will be interesti interesting. if they have a vote of contempt we to they schedule that vote.
on thursday, for example if there is a big healthcare decision by the supreme court we see that they don't want a lot of attention ton. at this point i think the romney campaign is fine with letting it play out on its own. there isn't any real urgency for him to weigh in on at this it moment. >> britt in the time we is left it seem there's are considerable political risks for both sides. on the one hand, the obama transparently change washington presidency involveed in what could be seen as covering up certainly refusing to turn over documents. on the other hand, house republicans run the risk of appearing to overreach. >> the republican brand name is in terrible shape and people are not naturally sympathetic be to the republicans in congress. really not sympathetic to congress as an institution but certainly not to the republic n republicans. any time the republicans do anything big or bold they run the risk of people not liking them just for them doing it. they fought like cornered rats
to try to get spending in response to an increase in the debt ceiling and came out looking terrible for trying to do if you step back and look at it. the things that they promised to do. even among the people that support them they didn't come out looking good. so sure, you bet there are ri k risks. >> chris: kirsten? >> any time they are not tal talking about the economy the romney campaign is going to be unhappy and there is a risk of overreach and they are already unpopular and feeds into a story line that exists which is congress is partisan and finger pointing. >> chris: put yourself in the hands of the obama white house. happy to have this happening because they are not focusing on the economy and there is a lot of focus on the house republicans? >> i think they are always happy to change the subject off their dismal jobs record. >> chris: thank you panel. you answered that question quickly. check out panel plus where the group picks up with the discussion and we will let her say another word. we will post the video before
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>>. >> chris: time for some comments you posted to our blog. after our interview with the president's senior advisor many of you shared your thoughts about mr. obama's three and a half years in office. jeff from buffalo sent this. i wish people would stop blaming this country's problems on president obama's policy. congress hasn't allowed his policies to be put in place so why so much outrage with the president? james damer countered, he had his shot and he has failed. he can't blame the republicans because the democrats control both houses for his first two years in office. please keep your comments coming. find us at fox news sunday.com. that is it for today. have a great week. we'll see you next fox news sunday.