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Holder: "Nobody at the DOJ has lied"

December 9, 2011

Attorney General Eric Holder denied that anybody at the Department of Justice lied about the Fast and Furious program that allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug lords, even though he admitted that the DOJ sent inaccurate information to Congress.

Last week, the DOJ took the rare step of formally withdrawing a letter it sent to Congress in February that falsely claimed the program being executed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to “walk” into Mexico.

Confronted about this by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., Holder defended the DOJ.

“Nobody at the Justice Department has lied,” Holder insisted.

When Sensenbrenner pressed Holder on the distinction between lying and misleading Congress, Holder said it was a matter of a person’s “state of mind.”

Holder said that when DOJ officials provided inaccurate information to Congress, they didn’t know at the time that it was inaccurate.

UPDATE: Here’s the video. Holder starts speaking around the 1:38 mark.

For those of you who are time deprived, here’s the transcript:

This morning on Capitol Hill, Attorney General Eric Holder was asked whether he lied to Congress about the Fast & Furious gun-running scandal:

Rep. James Sensenbrenner asked Holder: “Tell me what’s the difference between lying and misleading Congress, in this context?”

Holder’s response is a bit Clintonian. “Well, if you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that would be considered perjury or a lie,” Holder said. “The information that was provided by the February 4th letter was gleaned by the people who drafted the letter after they interacted with people who they thought were in the best position to have the information.”

Original Articles are found here and here

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