Posts Tagged ‘Frank Wolf’
May 10th, 2013 at 4:17 pm
Wolf Whets Appetite for Benghazi Bipartisanship

For many months now, the excellent U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, has been calling for the appointment of a special “select” committee to investigate all aspects of the 9/11 catastrophe in Benghazi, Libya. In the wake of this week’s explosive hearings, Wolf renewed his call today in a letter to Speaker John Boehner. His argument always had made sense: “A thorough inquiry will require witnesses from across government – including the Defense Department, State Department, Intelligence Community, Justice Department and even the White House.  Only a Select Committee would be able to bring the cross-jurisdictional expertise and subpoena authority to compel answers from these agencies.” Also: “It’s worth restating that the committee would be bipartisan, thereby putting an end to misguided criticism from some that this investigation is only being done for political reasons.”

Wolf’s arguments always have made sense. It’s not that Chairman Darrel Issa’s committee has been doing a bad job — far from it — but it is just a reality that the media has treated Issa’s inquiry as being partisan, and also that a select committee would have the advantages of sole focus and of cross-jurisdictional authority.

Today, the Wall Street Journal endorsed the idea, and it closed with a particularly strong argument:

“Mr. Boehner said on Thursday that the administration should release its email communications on Benghazi, but it won’t do so unless they are subpoenaed. Frank Wolf, one of the House’s most senior members, has it right. Benghazi’s explanation deserves the best effort elected officials can give it, and the right vehicle is a Select Committee with subpoena power and deposition authority.”

Those emails, by the way, are almost certainly the key. Boehner has been right to focus on them. As Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said in the past 24 hours, what really is important is not just whether there was a cover-up, but what was being covered up. What more can we learn about the State Department refusing multiple requests for added security in the months before the assault, and was the White House involved in those decisions. And, with what is more likely to have White House involvement, what about the now-confirmed story that rescuers were ready to at least try to fly to Benghazi, but were told to stand down? Who told them to stand down, and why? And where was Obama during all of this? Sleeping? Planning his fund-raising remarks for his trip to Las Vegas?

Anyway, a select committee can best look into all of this. As usual, Frank Wolf is right.

March 12th, 2013 at 2:51 pm
Inspector General Blitzes Obama-Holder-Perez Civil Rights Division

A new report is hot off the presses. Virginia’s veteran U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose admirable pressure was largely responsible in the first place for the DoJ Inspector General to open an investigation into the department’s Civil Rights Division, just put out a release describing it:



Long-Awaited Report Details Dysfunction Within Human Rights Division

Washington, D.C. (March 12, 2013) – Following the long-awaited release of a report by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General on abuses within the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today called on the Attorney General to appoint an outside panel to conduct a review of all officials and correct the systemic dysfunction that exists within the division.

Today’s report validates the concerns Wolf raised in 2009 and 2010 about the politicization and inappropriate activities within the Civil Rights Division, including the dismissal of the New Black Panthers Philadelphia voting intimidation case and the subsequent investigation of this matter by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2010.

On Thursday, March 14, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who released today’s report, will testify before Wolf’s Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee at 10 a.m. in H-309 in the Capitol.

Wolf’s full statement is below.

“I was deeply troubled, but hardly surprised, to learn from today’s report on the Justice Department’s Inspector General that very serious abuses and politicization are prevalent in the department’s Civil Rights Division.  The report makes clear that the division has become a rat’s nest of unacceptable and unprofessional actions, and even outright threats against career attorneys and systemic mismanagement.

“Above all, I believe that Attorney General Holder has failed in his leadership of this Justice Department.  As the head of the department, he alone bears ultimate responsibility for the serious abuses that occurred on his watch over the last four years.  Notably, the report also confirms that the attorney general was made aware of efforts to dismiss the voting rights case against the New Black Panther Party in 2009, which was apparently dismissed with his blessing.  Holder has failed the American people, and he must be held responsible for the prevailing dysfunction that has occurred under his leadership.

“Today, I am calling on Holder to immediately appoint an outside, independent panel, led by someone of integrity and experience like former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, to conduct a 60-day in-depth review of all officials, attorneys and policies within the division and make recommendations to the department and to the Congress on how to address the systematic dysfunction that has taken root within the division.

“Additionally, all of the individuals cited for improper conduct should be immediately removed and appropriate action should be taken.

“I take these issues very seriously, both because of my responsibilities as chairman of the House CJS Appropriations subcommittee, which funds the Justice Department, but also because I have been a stalwart supporter of voting rights enforcement.

“I was the only member of the Virginia congressional delegation – Republican or Democrat – to vote for the Voting Rights Act in 1982.  I was heavily criticized by state newspapers, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, for my vote. I was criticized again by editorials in my district when I supported the Voting Rights Act extension in 2006, but I stuck by my vote because I strongly believe that voting is a sacrosanct and inalienable right of any democracy.

“I first contacted former Inspector General Glenn Fine in July 2009 to request this report.  Nearly four years after my request – and two inspectors general later – this report has finally been released.  Although I was disappointed the IG’s office was initially slow in its review of this case, the pace noticeably accelerated under the leadership of the current IG Michael Horowitz, who assumed this position last spring.  I appreciate Mr. Horowitz’s leadership and believe he has produced a good report.

“I was particularly disheartened by the dismissal of the New Black Panthers case by the Obama Justice Department.  The dismissal was wholeheartedly opposed by the four career attorneys managing the case, as well as the Division’s own appellate office, which is also staffed by career DOJ attorneys.  In a 2009 memo penned by career Appellate Chief Diana K. Flynn, she wrote that DOJ could make a ‘reasonable argument in favor of default relief against all defendants, and probably should.’  She further noted that the complaint’s purpose was ‘to prevent the paramilitary-style intimidation of voters, while leaving open ample opportunity for political expression.’

“Today’s IG report makes clear the degree to which politicization and mismanagement influenced the inexplicable dismissal of this case.  The Civil Rights Division should be beyond reproach, and in my capacity as CJS chairman I will continue to work to finally achieve an ethical, functioning Justice Department that Americans are once again proud of.”

January 8th, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Obama Administration Covers for Terrorist Havens

The indispensable U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA, has put out a wonderfully strongly worded press release blasting the government of Tunisia for releasing a prime suspect in the Benghazi terrorist assault and, more importantly for our purposes, blasting the terrorist-coddling (my words, not his) Obama administration for not only failing to exert enough pressure on Tunisia to do otherwise, but for refusing to comment on this outrage and for refusing to cut off aid to Tunisia.

To quote Wolf on what happened:

Ali Harzi, a key suspect in the September 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate and annex in Benghazi, was released by Tunisian authorities today.  I have every reason to believe that Harzi was involved in the attack, which took the lives of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, and resulted in the destruction of two U.S. facilities.  For months following the attack, the Tunisian government blocked the FBI from interviewing Harzi.  Now Harzi walks the streets of Tunisia a free man – facing no consequence for his role in the Benghazi attack.


Last month, I asked the Obama Administration to cut off aid to Tunisia.  I am very disappointed to learn that the State Department is once again ducking this issue and today refusing to comment on Harzi’s release.

“The release of this key suspect, nearly four months to the day following the attack, further underscores the need for a House Select Committee to fully investigate the attack and the U.S. response in the days, weeks and months following.

Wolf is absolutely right that a special “Select Committee” is called for. Its first witness should be Hillary Clinton; its second witness should be John Brennan; its third witness should be the usually honorable Leon Panetta. Wolf said that next week he will reintroduce his resolution to form such a select committee. Meanwhile, the establishment media should interrupt its Nina Burleigh act on Barack Obama long enough to demand to know why Tunisia is still getting use of American taxpayer dollars, in light of (and in contradiction to) Obama’s multi-repeated promise that his “biggest priority right now is bringing [the attackers] to justice.”

Not even Jimmy Carter was so feckless when it came to upholding American honor, and protecting its assets and people, abroad.