WASHINGTON — Conservative Democrats began to desert Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. Thursday prior to a historic vote to hold him in contempt of Congress as Republicans upped the ante by deciding to move towards taking Holder to court themselves if he doesn’t hand over 1,500 pages in documents on a failed gun-tracking operation.
House vote counters predicted that somewhere between 20 and 31 Democrats would desert their party largely because the influential National Rifle Association threatened to oppose legislators who support the attorney general.
The House scheduled several hours of debate Thursday before it votes on whether Holder, one of President Obama’s closest and most trusted Cabinet allies, should be held in contempt.
It would be the first time a sitting member of the President’s cabinet has been held in contempt.
Holder has repeatedly rebuffed a Congressional subpoena to turn over 1,500 pages of internal Department of Justice documents detailing his handling of the botched ATF Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation.
Elected officials are demanding answers after Daniel Chong, a 23-year-old UC San Diego student, was left unattended for five days in a Drug Enforcement Administration detention cell.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called on U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. asking for an “immediate and thorough” Department of Justice investigation into the matter.
“After the investigation is completed, I ask that you please provide me with the results and the actions the department will take to make sure those responsible are held accountable and that no one in DEA custody will ever again be forced to endure such treatment,” she wrote.
The DEA apologized Wednesday to Chong, who was accidentally left unattended in a holding cell for five days and reportedly drank his own urine to survive.
San Diego attorney Gene Iredale said his client was “still recovering” from the ordeal. The attorney submitted the initial paperwork needed for a lawsuit Wednesday. The claim seeks $20 million in compensation for the incident.
“He is glad to be alive,” Iredale said of Chong. “He wants to make sure that what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
News of the incident came to light when Chong told a San Diego television station he spent nearly a week in the cell without food, water or access to a toilet after an April 21 raid on a house in San Diego.
The DEA, which identified Chong only as “the individual in question,” said he and eight others were swept up during a raid of a suspected Ecstasy distribution operation, where agents found guns, ammunition, 18,000 Ecstasy pills and other drugs.
The nine suspects were taken to a DEA area headquarters, where they were fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed, the agency said. After processing, seven were taken to a county detention facility and one was released.
Chong, the agency said, was “accidentally left in one of the cells.” He told NBC San Diego he kicked the door “many, many times” in a futile attempt to get agents’ attention.
When they finally found Chong, he was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he stayed for five days. Iredale said Chong, who was close to kidney failure and had trouble breathing, spent three of those days in the intensive care unit.
Chong also suffered hallucinations and “thought he was going insane,” Iredale said. Chong told NBC San Diego he tried to kill himself by breaking his glasses and cutting his wrists.
“I didn’t care if I died,” he told the station. “I was completely insane.”
“I am deeply troubled by the incident that occurred here last week,” Sherman said. “I extend my deepest apologies [to] the young man and want to express that this event is not indicative of the high standards that I hold my employees to.”
The DEA said Chong told agents he had been at the house that was raided “to get high with his friends” and later admitted that he used a white powdery substance found in his cell that tested positive for methamphetamine.
Iredale confirmed Chong had stayed with friends the night of April 20 to “celebrate” the day heralded by many marijuana aficionados “in the typical way — by smoking some pot.”
But the attorney said the meth found in the cell was not his client’s and was there before his arrival.
“The DEA’s protocol was so sloppy that somebody who was a previous prisoner secreted a small amount of meth in a plastic bag inside a blanket,” Iredale said.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) wants a congressional investigation.
If all of America were just like the great families at the National Rifle Association’s 141st annual members meeting in St. Louis last weekend, our country would be flawless. Surrounded by my family, friends, patriots, law enforcement and military heroes, veterans who have sacrificed dearly for freedom and the U.S. Constitution, the good will and positive energy in the air was cleansing, to say the least. We set another attendance record for the NRA and for St. Louis. It was downright perfect.
I spent all three days doing fundraisers for children’s and military charities, fondling much hardware, meeting legions of good folks at the Ted Nugent Ammo exhibit, and shaking hands with great Americans, Canadians, Brits and freedom-loving people from around the globe.
As always, I also conducted numerous media interviews providing unlimited self-evident truth and the inexhaustible evidence supporting the beauty of keeping and bearing arms for defense of self, family and liberty. Unarmed helplessness is for sheep and the French. Such an embarrassing, irresponsible, crime-inducing condition is inexcusable.
On Sunday, April 15, my killer Motor City soul brother, Derek St. Holmes, joined me onstage for an impromptu celebration of Motown classics and my fire-breathing soundtrack of defiance and God-given, constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. Much enthusiastic foot stomping and dancing erupted like it was the Fourth of July.
Introduced lovingly by the great Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbot, I took the stage, humbled yet proud that such a gathering of fine people would unite to hear the old guitar player raise hell for a better America.
My speech, just like every year at the NRA convention, was about the unlimited greatness of this sacred experiment in self-government, thanking the heroes of the U.S. military and law enforcement for their incredible sacrifices while waging war against the enemies of freedom, wherever they may slither.
But beyond all that is good, the real duty of “we the people” is to watch out for and fight against the bad and the ugly brought about by people of power who have historically abused it.
I named names. I called out Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for his Fast and Furious scandal and other offenses. I railed against President Obama for engineering the dismantling of the once-greatest economy in the world. I reminded everyone how Hillary Rodham Clinton sides with the evil criminals of the United Nations instead of her own great nation. I reminded good Americans that it isn’t the enemies’ fault for sneaking into the White House and abusing power, but rather we the people for allowing them to take corruption to a horrible new level.
I begged everyone to register and vote, because warriors give up their lives so that we can. I spotlighted cockroaches and rallied those who care to stomp ‘em out at the voting booth in November, as is my duty as an American.
By no stretch of the imagination did I ever threaten anyone’s life, or hint of violence or mayhem. Metaphors needn’t be explained to educated people.
I passionately rallied the American civilian troops to stand up for what is right and demand that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights be once again the measure of all laws and policies in America.
Then in their ever-desperate scramble to divert attention from the crimes of their communist leaders, the Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” left-wing media and terminally liberal Democrats circled their battlewagons of deceit and hate and unleashed their tsunami of lies about me and everything I said.
To me, my family and thinking America, the dysfunctional left-wing hate hysteria was laughable. I became the No. 1 global tweet entity, while every newspaper and America-hating television and radio gang literally tripped over themselves in a feeble attempt to out-lie each other.
I personally have never been prouder. If my daily activities and simple statements of truth and logic can cause such bizarre overreaction by so many, I need no more evidence that I am on the right track. When doing God’s work, the devils go bonzo. So be it.
I stand by my statements. The line is drawn in the American sand. I stand with patriots who love this country. We wake up early every day to put our hearts and souls into being assets for America, our fellow Americans, the people of the world and the good earth.
Those who despise me blindly chant Mao Zedong and Che Guevara rants, and the difference between our good and their bad is glaring.
Choose your side carefully, America. The shining city on the hill is under attack from within.
Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).