AG Eric Holder In Contempt! (Not “formally” yet)
Can Obama save Holder and themselves at the same time? Its doubtful….
The House panel investigating operation Fast and Furious has voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Holder has not been formally held in contempt of Congress. The House will still need to approve a resolution by a floor vote on the matter. Rep. Darrell Issa said that the floor vote could still be avoided if the documentation requested was provided by the Justice Department.
The vote came down 23-17 from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee late on Wednesday.
“We and the American people need answers sooner, not later,” said chairman Issa.
Issa pressed forward with the vote of contempt in light of Barack Obama’s letter claiming executive privilege in regards to the documents requested by the committee on the Fast and Furious gun walking operation. “This untimely assertion by the Justice Department falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings,” Issa said.
Fox News reports the reactions of both sides leading up to the vote,
Democrats roundly voiced disappointment with the proceedings, describing them as politically motivated and avoidable. They pleaded with Issa to seriously consider Obama’s executive privilege claim — the first Obama has asserted — and some said Holder was being punished for withholding internal documents he shouldn’t be turning over anyway.
Republicans praised Issa for pressing ahead, describing the vote as entirely unavoidable considering the department’s alleged refusal to cooperate. They frequently invoked the name of Brian Terry — Fast and Furious-linked guns were found at the murder scene of the Border Patrol agent. And Issa indicated he was waiting for a more detailed explanation from the White House, and a letter from Obama himself, before even considering changing course based on the executive privilege claim.
The parents of Brian Terry issues a statement regarding the administration being forthcoming with documentation and apparently attempting to cover up their part in Fast and Furious. “Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to fully disclose the documents associated with Operation Fast and Furious and President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege serves to compound this tragedy. It denies the Terry family and the American people the truth,” they said.
Eric Holder is the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress since Janet Reno was held in contempt by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee in 1998. The House did not vote on the resolution then and one wonders if they will be voting on this latest declaration of Holder.