CNN "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees" - Transcript


Date: June 27, 2012


Nice to see you, sir. Thank you for your time.

REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: Good to be with you.

O'BRIEN: I know you've had a chance to read this article --

MICA: I haven't had a chance to read the article.

O'BRIEN: Forgive me. Well --

MICA: Sometimes I -- I try not to read too many fiction or novels.

O'BRIEN: Well, we'll see how much fiction it is. She is standing certainly by her story. I know you had a chance to listen to the interview that we just did. She says that there are five people at the ATF who were involved in this -- you know, what was happening in Phoenix who say there was no policy of gun walking. It did not happen.

MICA: Well, first -- first of all, you just showed a clip of the attorney general saying that gun walking happened. Quite frankly, I'm a member of the investigative committee, one of the senior members of the panel. I don't take our investigative facts and information from a magazine or some article.

All we're interested in and all we're responsible for doing is finding out who did what, getting the pertinent documents. This is an investigative arm of the House of Representatives. There is no reason why we should be denied the documents to get to the truth of this.

O'BRIEN: But let's go --

MICA: We're not -- you know, this isn't some, we're going to make up fantasy stories or take parts of information from some writer. This is a serious investigation. People were killed --

O'BRIEN: Let's go back to what the writer is saying. Let's go back to what the writer is saying, where she's saying this is not her opinion. She's saying there are five people who were --

MICA: I don't care if there are five. I don't care if there are 10 or 20. First of all, we --

O'BRIEN: Who are ATF, who say it didn't happen. You don't care about they're -- what they're saying?

MICA: I -- we want all their information. If their testimony is pertinent, we'll bring them in. What we're asking for are the documents that are in possession of the government. And in this case, of the Department of Justice or any of its personnel that relate to this. We know that there are more than 100,000 documents. We've received about 7,000 or 8,000. That's about 7 or 8 percent. OK?

Why -- I mean this is almost a joke to say that we should rely on some article in some magazine as oppose to --

O'BRIEN: I don't think she -- I don't think she considers it a joke at all, sir.

MICA: I do. I do.

O'BRIEN: And let me ask you this.

MICA: Because I think -- I think this is making a farce out of the investigative process. Under the Constitution, under the laws of the United States, under our authority --

O'BRIEN: She is reporting for six-month --

MICA: I don't care what she -- I don't -- I really don't care what she is reporting.

O'BRIEN: Of her six-month investigations. So let me ask you another question. Let me ask --

MICA: She has nothing to do with our committee or our responsibilities under the Constitution and laws.

O'BRIEN: I would assume the committee --

MICA: I want the information as a member of this committee.

O'BRIEN: Sir, may I ask a question?

MICA: And if it's not turned over by tomorrow --

O'BRIEN: Can I ask a question?

MICA: -- we will hold in contempt, the House of Representatives, Eric Holder, the attorney general of the United States. That's close d open -- OK.

O'BRIEN: So she's saying she has spoken to people at the ATF who said gun walking did not happen. She has --


MICA: Well, you just showed me a tape --

O'BRIEN: Let me finish. Let me finish my question.

MICA: -- where the attorney general testified to --

O'BRIEN: Sir, if I may.

MICA: Go -- yes. OK.

O'BRIEN: Thank you. I appreciate that. Her article says that there is no gun walking. What evidence do you have that, in fact, there was gun walking. What's your evidence? MICA: Well, maybe I was watching a different program. I just saw Eric Holder on your -- on your television screen say that there was gun walking.


MICA: And then from --

O'BRIEN: What evidence do you have from the ATF that there was gun walking?

MICA: Well, just the attorney general. I guess we couldn't believe him. But we don't know what to believe. That's the whole point here. And we should be entitled, an investigative arm of the House of Representatives, this agency used taxpayer monies. It's authorized by the Congress of the United States and you're telling me I have to rely on some novelist or some writer? Or some information that is --

O'BRIEN: I'm telling you what the writer is raising here as some very interesting things.

Let me read to you a little bit from the article --

MICA: Well, you want to --

O'BRIEN: Let me leave you to --

MICA: We want to raise even more questions.

O'BRIEN: Let me read to you a little bit from her article.

MICA: I don't want to -- again, all I want are the facts. This is just like the old movie --

O'BRIEN: I just want to give you something from her article.

MICA: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Let me read to you something from her article.


O'BRIEN: She said -- she mentions a guy who is on food stamps yet had plunked down $300,000 for 476 firearms over six months. The supervisor whose name is Dave Voth asked the ATF if they could arrest him and he was told that they could not. He could not be arrested because under the law in the state of Arizona you can buy massive numbers of guns, right? That is correct.

So his -- her argument is that there was no gun walking, that in fact it was prosecutors --

MICA: Well, again --

O'BRIEN: Let me finish my sentence. It was prosecutors, it was weak laws that, in fact, were the reason that those guns were able to get across the border.

MICA: Well, first of all, on February 4th, 2011, the Department of Justice sent us a letter that said they didn't know anything about what was going on. There was nothing. We actually know from an e- mail in March that they knew and they chose those to cover it up for another 10 months. Then they finally admitted that was -- something was going on. And just a few minutes ago, you played a tape, unless you -- unless you doctored the tape, that was the attorney general of the United States saying that he thought there was gun walking going on.

Now you're trying to tell me that a committee of Congress charged with specific jurisdiction for investigation over all of these agencies including the Department of Justice should just turn a blind eye when an agent is killed and others are murdered and we're using taxpayer hard-earned dollars to buy weapons?


O'BRIEN: Well, I would certainly never say that, sir. I would certainly never say that. But let's talk about that day you just mentioned.

MICA: And give them over to drug dealers that killed our agent.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk that date you just mentioned. February 4th, 2011.

MICA: Yes.

O'BRIEN: That's a date you mentioned. Justice Department sends a letter to Senator Grassley. Grassley seems to come back with proof that the ATF had, in fact, walked guns. But he's talking actually about a different case. That there was a different case.

MICA: Well, how -- how would we know?

O'BRIEN: And that case, that case --

MICA: How would we know if we don't have the information?

O'BRIEN: According to this reporter's case, Agent John Dodson, who is the whistleblower in this did walk guns. Is it true or not the whistleblower in this case did walk guns in a totally different case? Is that true or not?

MICA: Well, again, again, this isn't rocket science. This is not complicated. We have an agency of the -- of the United States government. This is the prosecutorial arm. This is the Department of Justice buying weapons, we believe, because we don't know because we don't have the facts and they won't give us the information.

I mean I -- this is so indefensible.

O'BRIEN: But that's a yes or no question, sir.

MICA: It's beyond comprehension.

O'BRIEN: If it's a different -- if it's a different -- if it's not fast and furious, and the guy --

MICA: How would we -- how --

O'BRIEN: You're investigating it. This reporter has been doing it for six months.

MICA: How do we even separate the fact when you don't have the information and they try to keep the evidence from you? I --

O'BRIEN: This reporter has been investigating it for six months and you would be the --

MICA: I don't give a hill of beans about that reporter.

O'BRIEN: And you've been investigating it as well.

MICA: We have investigative staff who are charged by law and this committee under the Constitution of the United States has a responsibility, taxpayers' money, and an agency which we fund from the government, they bought weapons, we believe and we think that -- I don't know who did what. We're just trying to find out.

O'BRIEN: Yes, and she said done by the guy who's the whistleblower to you. That's what she says.

MICA: Well, she can say whatever she wants.

O'BRIEN: Her report said the only person who did gun walking --

MICA: She doesn't work for the committee. She wasn't elected to Congress and she isn't charged with investigating this under the laws and Constitution of the United States. She's probably a very nice lady, but that's not her responsibility. Our responsibility is to represent the citizens who are paying for this whole fiasco and seeing an agent killed.

You know, after -- we have to respond to the Terry family who came to our committee. And all I asked for was justice and a thorough investigation of the death of their loved one.

O'BRIEN: OK. Well, let's talk about that.

MICA: Yes.

O'BRIEN: It seems to me that if you really wanted to keep the -- the guns, rather, going to Mexican cartels, why not advocate for stronger laws? Why not make it easier to prosecute someone who's buying 476 weapons who appears to be on food stamps at the same time?

MICA: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Wouldn't that actually be a good step towards reform? MICA: That -- it could raise -- that could raise a good question. But the question at hand here is someone in the Department of Justice at whatever level devised a scheme --

O'BRIEN: But that's not my question. That's not my question.

MICA: -- to supply guns and at least one of those weapons was used in the death of a federal agent and hundreds of other -- as reported Mexican citizens.

O'BRIEN: And if you wanted to stop that from happening again, why not make the laws stronger?

MICA: Well, first --

O'BRIEN: Why not make the laws --

MICA: Yes.

O'BRIEN: -- so that one person cannot buy 476 guns over six months, who, by the way, seems to be on food stamps and has no money?

MICA: Well, what we should do is first of all make certain that the Department of Justice isn't buying those weapons and supplying them to drug dealers and murderers, and those weapons are used against an agent. Find out what went wrong. Make certain that with an agency of the United States government, that this never happens again.

And furthermore that the people responsible for one of the most horrendous acts we've ever seen out of the Department of Justice, our chief prosecutorial office, that those people are held accountable. We're going to do that one way or the other.

O'BRIEN: There is -- why not a database, electric database that would be able to track gun sales in real time? Because according to this article, if you have that, the ATF agents wouldn't have to go by hand and try to backtrack weapons. The NRA does not support that. The NRA has --

MICA: Again --

O'BRIEN: Has been working against that. So why not support a gun sales database?

MICA: Well, again, a gun sale database is just trying to get the Department of Justice to keep track of the guns that they're purchasing and supplying to drug dealers and murderers. I mean, wow. Come on, let's get the government under control before we start restricting the rights of -- innocent citizens. Come on.

O'BRIEN: So a database -- a database that would track --

MICA: You have so many peripheral issues you're throwing out there.

(CROSSTALK) O'BRIEN: I'm not. I'm just actually trying to read the article --

MICA: I just want -- how about a database --

O'BRIEN: -- and ask the questions off of it.


MICA: How about -- how about a database in the Department of Justice just keep track of the mess you've created, the murder -- the murders that have been conducted with weapons paid by taxpayer dollars across the border. Now we see some of those weapons are in the United States, too.

This is a scheme that was cooked up by some people who don't want to -- the facts to come out in the Department of Justice.

O'BRIEN: You don't seem that interested in reading the article --

MICA: I don't know what --


O'BRIEN: You don't seem that interested talking to five ATF agents who say it didn't happen.

MICA: It could be Washington, it could be Atlanta, it could be Arizona.

O'BRIEN: You don't seem -- sir? You don't seem that interested in tracking down five ATF agents who said gun walking didn't happen.

MICA: I think we should track down everyone and hold everyone accountable. But that's part of our investigation. Right now, you have impeding that investigation, both the Department of Justice, now the president of the United States with his executive privilege he's invoked, and also with the attorney general who came before us and his agency provided us with an initial information that was not truthful. We just want to get the truth, the facts, and hold people accountable.

And in a responsible society --

O'BRIEN: I think a lot of people would --

MICA: -- with a responsible --

O'BRIEN: I think a lot of people would agree with you. They'd like the truth --


O'BRIEN: -- the facts and to hold people responsible as well.

MICA: And that's all I ask. I don't ask for one thing more and I think the people of the United States that we represent deserve that.

O'BRIEN: I'm going to agree with you on that, sir.

MICA: I'm going to do all I can in my power to see that they get that information.

O'BRIEN: And I would agree with you on that, too, sir.

Congressman Mica, thank you for talking with us.

MICA: I'm a persistent person. Thank you.