June 20th, 2012
04:23 PM ET

House panel recommends Holder be cited for contempt

[Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET] Voting on strictly partisan lines, a House committee recommended 23-17 Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to the botched Fast and Furious weapons sting operation.

The measure now goes to the full House for consideration, expected next week, of what would be an unprecedented event - Congress holding a sitting attorney general in contempt.

Republicans on the committee voted for the recommendation; Democrats voted against it. Like they do on the panel, Republicans hold a majority in the full House.

Earlier Wednesday, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents that the panel is seeking.

[Initial post, 10:11 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, said a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.

The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the panel.

The letter came just as the House Oversight Committee was set to vote on a contempt measure against Attorney General Eric Holder for not providing some documents on the botched federal firearms sting operation.

A showdown meeting Tuesday between Holder and panel chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, failed to resolve their dispute over the committee's demand for the Department of Justice to turn over more documents about the program.

"Prepping for #contempt proceedings against #Holder for #FastAndFurious stonewalling. Didn't have to be this way, but we'll do our duty," said a Twitter post by Issa before the committee convened Wednesday.
If the panel approves the contempt measure, it would go to the full House for possible consideration.

After Tuesday's meeting with Issa, Holder said he offered to provide the documents on the condition that Issa gave his assurance that doing so would satisfy two committee subpoenas and resolve the dispute.

Letter from Holder requesting privilege (PDF)

Letter informing Issa that Obama is asserting privilege (PDF)

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
soundoff (443 Responses)
  1. theprophetmotive

    Get rid of Holder.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. joshua

    Holder has lied under oath. To not find him in contempt would be criminal.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. thomas

    So while they spend all their time and energy on playing political games, nothing worthwhile is getting done in congress. I think we could hold every single one of them in contempt – lock them up and start over with common sense folks (not political minded folks). Then we might get somewhere in this country but until the political games stop, we're only jacking our jaws.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anderson Copper

    This is just one black man standing up for another...stop the black lies!!! Bring the change we all voted for – brother.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoeyj

      Take your Klan hood off and relax.............

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Truthbetold

    Yawn. Wake me when something happens in congress that doesn't follow party lines.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. itwasntme904

    So much for a transparency!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoeyj

      It doesn't matter........you wouldn't understand it anyway...........

      June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tim

    Surprise, straight party line vote. Congress is broken. Partisanship is destroying the republic - BOTH parties are guilty.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAve

      No, when the Dems are unwilling to share the docs required to do an investigation because there is evidence showing Holder was directly involved and should resign, then then it is not both parties causing issues here. Where is the accountability from Holder? If he were republican, they would demand he resign and crusify him

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobbaFett

      Actually, Congress is working exactly the way it's supposed to. Who said politicians had to vote the same across the aisle? "Compromise" only results in weak, crappy legislation.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • StandUpToTyrants

      Amen to that. Our political system is putting us all at risk. Wake up and see that "Your Team" is as guilty as "Their Team". It makes me sick and disheartened that our countrymen are fighting over nonsense at a time we need to come together to prosper in the face of global uncertainty.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brandy

    This is and was a witch hunt. If the GOP really wanted to get to the truth they would have supoenia the top man in ATF, but they decided not to. Now they voted to find him in contempt and this goes to the House of Rep-and Boehner said they will vote on this next week but they dont have time to vote for any bills in Congress to help with the economy or jobs. GOP working the system to benefit the party

    June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jnpa

      So true! It is all political.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • GP

      Democrats are not the only ones we can't trust : "Most recently, George W. Bush White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten were held in contempt of Congress despite Bush asserting executive privilege in their case. During the vote in early 2008, a large number of Republicans walked out in protest of what they saw as a partisan vote."

      don't want the Republican mouthpieces getting all over this since they are just as bad.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Veteran

      Brandy, I bet if it was your son that was killed by one of the guns on this blotche program you would want congress to
      investigate and hold the administration responsible. From your coments you must be liberal.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TiredOfPaying

    OK, this 'voted along party lines' junk has to stop. It is not possible for 40 people to honestly look at the facts, take the best interests of the People into account and still come to the opinion that 'just so happens' to fall in line with either D or R values. Please post the names and state affiliations of these 40 people so that I vote AGAINST re-election for any in my state.

    This proves to me that there is no one pursuing Truth and Justice in our government. Every one of them is bought and paid for by the SuperPACs or Party favors.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Express

      That is some serious truth there bro.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wise old man

    And with everything else going on in this country..why should Americans care about this? Is this more important than the economy?
    Last time I checked....no it wasn't.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      deflect...deflect...deflect–thats all that is left–

      June 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      The Federal Goverment runs guns in Mexico and caused the death of a Border Patrol Agent and the Attorney General knew about it and lied to Congress about it. No. Of course it's not important.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. George Lyda

    Those his filthy A$$ in jail.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. riamb60

    Darrell Issa is a sly fox, I do not care for his tactics.

    PS Operation Gunrunner started under Bush in 2006.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldVet

      riamb60...I'm curious, if this truly started under Bush/Cheney, wouldn't it be better for President Obama and Mr Holder to release any info, as that info would surely lead to Bush/Cheney and clear Obama/Holder? Just wondering.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      that was legal–this disaster was not

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      Comparing the Bush program (WR) to the Obama program (FF) shows a fundamental lack of understanding the two. FF involved over ten times the number of guns as WR, deliberately left the Mexican gov't in the dark (unlike cooperating with them during WR), and used ONE tracking device for over 2500 guns as opposed to one tracking device per case. Without including the Mexican gov't in the program, how exactly was FF going to result in arresting Mexican cartel leaders? At that point, FF began strictly a program for arming cartels.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sf

    is this any surprise? republicans are doing EVERYTHING and ANYTHING a screaming/crying temper tantrumed child does! it's all politics for them...and i'm just sick and tired of it!!! and yes Repubs...this is one PROUD LIBERAL SPEAKING ON THE BS YOUR PARTY OFFERS!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GP

    Democrats are not the only ones we can't trust : "Most recently, George W. Bush White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten were held in contempt of Congress despite Bush asserting executive privilege in their case. During the vote in early 2008, a large number of Republicans walked out in protest of what they saw as a partisan vote."

    don't want the Republican mouthpieces getting all over this since they are just as bad.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. j0nx

    Every democrat who voted NO on this should be recalled. If your rep is one of them then call their office and voice your displeasure at their traitorous decision to support a murderer and a gun runner. Shame on these dems. SHAME!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
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