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The bloody malfeasance of Eric Holder and Barack Obama; Plus: Who is Acting DOJ IG Cynthia Schendar?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 7, 2011 11:33 AM

The other night on Hannity, I said we need an “Occupy Justice” campaign to protest the deadly corruption and incompetence that have infested our Justice Department from Day One of the Obama administration (vid here). A friend on Twitter wrote back that what we really need is a “Liberate Justice” movement to free Americans of Eric Holder and Barack Obama’s bloody malfeasance.

House GOP Oversight and Government Reform leaders are keeping up the pressure. They’ve released a new YouTube video to re-cap the week’s fast and felonious developments:

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today released a new video asking a simple question: who is accountable for the Obama Justice Department’s failed Operation Fast and Furious? Oversight Committee Watchdogs and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have pushed Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department for a full accounting of the deadly program, but this investigation has been meet with silence, stonewalling and spin. New documents, however, show that Holder received at least five weekly memos – beginning in July 2010 – that contradict the Attorney General’s May 3, 2011 sworn testimony denying knowledge of Fast and Furious until just weeks before.

“Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department have failed to honestly answer clear and legitimate questions about Operation Fast and Furious,” said Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). “Americans deserve to know the truth.”

Spread the word:

Programming note: Tonight on Hannity, Fox News will update and re-air its Fast and Furious special. Tune in at 9pm Eastern.

***

This week:

A Fast and Felonious question for the president; Update: Obama reiterates “complete confidence” in Holder; Document drop: an avalanche of Holder F&F memos

Scandal Watch: Fast and Furious round-up

***

The American Thinker sheds light on acting inspector general at DOJ Cynthia Schnedar. Whole thing is must-read. Foxes guarding the henhouse.

Since the release of the damaging memos, Justice Department spokespeople have given several spurious reasons to explain Holder’s statements: that he was confused during his testimony, that he thought he was being asked about another investigation, that he doesn’t see every memo that passes his desk. And after calls from Congress for a special counsel, a Justice spokesman attempted to fend off that plan by saying that once Holder had learned of the operation’s “questionable tactics” earlier this year, he then “promptly asked the inspector general to investigate the matter.”

Cynthia A. Schnedar is the acting inspector general, and just this past month, in yet another stunning revelation, it was discovered that she had released secret audio tapes of candid conversations from last March between Hope McAllister, an ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) agent in the Phoenix office, and Andre Howard, owner of a Phoenix-area gun shop, who had been authorized by the ATF to sell weapons to known Mexican cartel members in the botched sting operation.

On one of the tapes, they discuss a third Fast and Furious rifle that was found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in a remote area of southern Arizona last December. It had been widely reported that only two rifles were found at the scene, but recent reports tell of a cover-up. The third rifle would have led to an FBI informant.

As for the tapes, it was discovered by congressional investigators that Schnedar had inexplicably given a copy to the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix before she had even reviewed them. The tapes then ended up being shared with the ATF office there. Both those agencies are among the many entities under investigation in the ever-expanding scandal.

So just who, one may wonder, is Acting Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar?

Until last January, she was deputy inspector general at the Justice Department, having served in that post since June of 2010. When longtime Inspector General Glenn Fine retired from his post in January of this year, Schnedar, as had been expected, was named as acting inspector general on January 29.

…It turns out that Ms. Schnedar has long and close ties to Mr. Holder. According to her biography on the Justice Department website, she became assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. in 1994. Eric Holder had become the U.S. attorney in Washington the previous year, so he in effect was Schnedar’s boss from 1994 until 1997, when he left to become President Clinton’s deputy attorney general. Holder would become a key player in the scandalous pardons of fugitive billionaire Marc Rich and members of the Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist group known as FALN.

But during Ms. Schnedar’s tenure before Holder had departed, it happened that they had ended up working a number of cases together. According to the LexisNexis website, there were at least fourteen of them, usually at the appellate level. For Holder, it was more than just “in name only”; in some of those cases, they apparently co-filed legal briefs.

In one case, they had represented the ATF. In another, they represented both the ATF and DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), an agency that has now also been linked to Fast and Furious.

Whenever either Eric Holder or President Obama is pressed on Fast and Furious, both refer to the Justice Department’s internal investigation that happens to be headed by Ms. Schnedar.

…In a recently released letter to Schnedar, Issa and Senator Grassley noted that the investigator’s actions had “undermined and obstructed” their investigation (the Oversight Committee had also obtained copies of the tapes), and they demanded answers concerning her behavior.

After the first tape was made public by CBS News as a result of Schnedar’s actions, her office released a highly dubious explanation: that the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix needed them for the pending prosecution of drug traffickers.

There are several questions about Ms. Schnedar that beg to be answered.

First, as she well knew, the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix was also a target of the investigation. Both the U.S. attorney and the assistant U.S. attorney have since left because of the scandal.

Second, should Ms. Schnedar have immediately recused herself from the Fast and Furious investigation because of her long and deep ties to Mr. Holder?

Third, when Ms. Schnedar began her employment as assistant U.S. attorney in Washington in 1994, was it Mr. Holder (then the U.S. attorney) who hired her?

Lastly, Federal Election Commission records show that Schnedar donated to the Democratic National Committee in 2005. Does she now think that was proper?

On a related note: I recently contacted Ms. Schnedar to ask those very questions. She angrily told me to call her office. No answers have been forthcoming from either source, including her spokesman, Jay Lerner.

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