“Unfortunately,” Grassley informs Holder, his request that ATF brief his staff has been met with little more than ”delay and denial.“
Citing the Justice Department response to his inquiries denying allegations and requesting that his office not question law enforcement investigators, Grassley reconfirms to Holder “the allegations I received are supported by documentation,” and reminds the Attorney General “there is a difference between inappropriate political influence and appropriately holding officials accountable to the American people.”
Probably the most encouraging thing from Grassley's latest letter is this:
The Justice Department’s reply asked that Committee staff stop speaking to law enforcement personnel about these matters. However, if not for the bravery and patriotism of law enforcement personnel who were willing to put their careers on the line, this Committee would have been forced to rely on nothing more than rumors in the blogosphere and a Justice Department denial to resolve these allegations. We need more than that. To be an effective check on Executive Branch power, we need cold, hard facts. We will seek them from whatever source is necessary.
That's pretty good talk, from inside the dementia-inducing Beltway. We'll see how it goes from there. As I've noted before, I remain highly skeptical that we'll solve the real problem by appealing to the Beast whut brung it to us, but despite that I'm still rooting for Mike and David's efforts* to bear further fruit--in the form of a gelded or even scuttled ATF.
Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch. Really.
* These two are the real deal, and my philosophical objection to working within the system in no way is meant to diminish the incredibly valuable work they do. Every one of us--every human being currently living in this country--whether we acknowledge it or not, benefits from what they do.