U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss strongtly criticized the Department of Justice on Wednesday for its “notably silent” response to a string of anonymous pranks wherein authorities have been dispatched guns ablaze to the homes of conservative commentators after bogus shooting claims.
Aides to the Peach State pol circulated a letter he sent earlier in the day to the nation’s top law man, Eric Holder, bearing an unusually firm hed: “Chambliss slams attorney general for insufficient response to SWAT-ting.”
The missive didn’t disappoint.
In the month since Chambliss first petitioned Holder to launch a federal probe into the practice, which stung Georgia conservative radio talker and blogger Erick Erickson earlier this year, the senator said he had received only a “cursory, boilerplate response” from Justice Department officials.
“I remain extremely concerned about the danger SWAT-ting presents, and am worried about its use as a tool for silencing political speech,” Chambliss wrote Wednesday. “You and your department should be equally worried about these attempts at intimidation.”
In an accompanying statement, Chambliss implicitly linked Holder’s weak response to his stonewalling a Congressional investigation into a bungled federal gun running operation, for which he was recently found in contempt by the House of Representatives.
“Instead of addressing the dangerous trend of SWAT-ting, Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department have chosen to continue their unresponsiveness to congressional inquiries,” he said.
His letter in full:
UPDATE: Ali Akbar, a Georgia political operative who sits atop the National Bloggers Club, emailed Tipsheet a statement cheerleading the sustained pressure on DOJ from Chambliss and other GOP lawmakers.
“We’ve enjoyed working with elected officials on this issue. Senator Chambliss, Representatives Sandy Adams of Florida and Kenny Marchant of Texas are going to get to the bottom of this SWATting issue, because it’s a free speech issue.”
- James Richardson