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. strgzer585

    Wow. You mean the committee with the republican majority found the democratic attorney general in contempt? That is such a shock. No one could have ever seen that coming. If any of these dbag politicians (republican and democrat) could think for themselves instead of being partisan lemmings our country would be in so much better shape. There should also be a disclaimer every time a political pundit speaks that states "The following information has been proven to lower IQ's. View at your own risk."

    June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bev S

    This is just more of the operation gunrunner from back in the Bush years. It got covered up and stuff just seems to keep leaking out...and leaking....and leaking. And Eric Holder had nothing to do with that flap.

    Repubs are just trying all that they can to spew dirt at Obama here in this presidential election season. This is just another day at the office for them. Gah!!!! I do so dislike the Repubs that are so dirty and nasty and so bought by the carloads of money.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • drobertsaffton

      Bev, if you really believe that I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Obama is so busy blaming Bush for everything, don't you think if this was really started in the Bush years that Obama would produce evidence stating that fact. There is no evidence because this did not start until late 2009 (Obama took office January 20, 2009). What is Obama hiding? He has stated that he did not know of any of this and has not seen the memos and now he is evoking executive privilege over those memos. Why? This is much worse than anything that ever happened in Watergate. Hundreds of Mexicans have died and one U.S. border agent is dead. Both Holder and Obama need to go.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jesus

    Never, no way. I really can't believe a Democrat would try to obstruct just. Say it isn't so.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 0rangeW3dge

    The Congress Vs. The US

    June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Laverne

    Betcha this little stunt backfires, it turns off independents.!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. We Had Hope And Got Short Changed

    Obama and Holder are definitely hiding something. Obama has to be the most corrupt politician since Nixon.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian in DC

    Guilty as charged.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • streetdude66

      not guilty The GOp have been having political witch hunts all the way back to the 50s when they were calling everyone a Communist. the GOp will pay for this the same way they did back then and even during the Monica Gate conspiray

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

      Even worst, some members in Congress are inveigling to deceive for holder to deceive the committee.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      My boss and the man is gulty

      June 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse

      My boss and the man is guilty.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. IndyRR

    OldVet, if there is evidence that points to Bush/Cheyney, maybe Pres. Obama has enough class, loyalty, and patriotism to not besmirch a prior President. Just because the repubs slobber at any chance to make Pres. Obama look bad, doesn't mean he has to return that favor.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taxed to Death in Chicago

      How many times did Ronald Reagan blame Jimmy Carter for the mess he inherited? That's the difference between a LEADER and a Community Organizer.

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

      Really????

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

      Not a chance that is the reason. To this day Obama takes every opportunity to throw Bush under the bus rather than taking responsibility for an economy in the dumps. Why would he look to protect Bush in this instance? Does not make sense.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Really...you believe that possibility for even the remotest fragment of time?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • suliwen

      Are you joking? Since when would Obama miss the chance to blame Bush for something else that he himself has failed in? ! Especially in an election year!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Affirmative Action is a pernicious regime.Pres.Obama is the worst Pres.I've seen.Pres.Bush is second

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boris

      Oh sure, because Obama has never hesitated thrown GW under the bus for any perceived failings.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • funnyman12

      Yes, Obama has clearly been so quick to defend the Bush presidency in the past. He is obviously looking to defent GWB's integrity on this one. LMFAO @ the koolaid drinker!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldVet

      Um..yeah..that patriotism was shining through when he was kissing up to his Soviet...I mean....Russian counterpart a few months ago..

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Saboth

    "Contempt of Congress". Believe me, if that were a crime, 93% of the country would be in jail.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • yuri pelham

      I too hold Congress in contempt. They're not worth spitting on. They are harmful to the country.

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

      Exactly! What type of penalty does Contempt of Congress come with? None. Its just a symbolic gesture so the rest of the ldiots can go on with their lives thinking justice has been served.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      ...and the percentage grows every day....

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • riamb60

      So , so true !!

      June 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Taxed to Death in Chicago

    I thought Obama said his administration was going to be the most transparent administration. Evidently not. Just another case of Obama keeping Americans in the dark. It started day one with the Healthcare legislation and Congress didn't even know what was in the bill. For the sake of America, vote him out in November, before he completely destroys America.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • MS

      Healthcare, something he said he would pass before being elected to office... and keeping things secret from the public, something every administration has done since the beggining of the country... is destroying America? This country would have been done a long time ago if that were true bud. Besides, its not like he commited the country to a 10yr pointless war right?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JD

    Thank you Obama for admitting you knew about your people running guns into Mexico. . . if youi didn't know then why the Executive Privilege on the papers? Obama knew and now we all know he did. . . He should be impeached for this! Mexico has enough problems without him arming the drug lords, and it has spilled over into the US. Obama and Holder are responible for this and the deaths on both sides of the border.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lardeau

    It's a whole bunch of Nero's playing the violin while the Country is burning down. Or else it's a bunch of chickens with no heads running around in circles. NOT GOOD – my friends. WHERE IS THE DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP ???

    June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      There's a phrase I'm cited for repeating often for the last ten years...

      "Where are all the Giants?"

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. No Mad

    do you think holdem and reno will have a get-together?....

    lmsao

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

      That is right Reno murdered those people in waco by following falsified reports by the ATF and that poor boy who saw camoflauged gunmen shoot his dog in ruby ridge. We hold foreign leaders accountable for the actions of cops way below them when acting on orders. But not here stateside. Our leaders are not held accountable like Mumbarack or Ghadafi. We support coups not revolutions. If it was a revolution a country of 9,000,000 would have has way way more than 10,000 fighters. We supported a minority to overthrow the will ( even if just ignorance) of the people.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jon

    Is there ANY chance that Congress could do some real work – like on our failing economy?? What a bunch of fools. Maybe we should just go after some more sports figures and their possible steoid use?? If the Congress wasn't even there – – would we even miss them? NO!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • funnyman12

      Jon, consider paying attention once in a while. The house has done plenty to attempt to fix the economy however has been blocked every step of the way by the democratic majority in the Senate and the Campaigner in Chief – Barack Hussein Obama

      June 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • strgzer585

      funnyman. That is a good name because that was the most hilarious statement I have ever heard. Maybe you should pay attention to something besides fox news. First it is the republicans blocking any legislature that may have even the slightest benefit to the country. Second the democratic majority can't do jack because every time the try republicans throw a fit like a spooled child. You may want to look up filibuster and find out what it takes to overturn one. Even when the democrats had a supposed super-majority, they still had Nelson and Lieberman there to stab them in the back and vote with the repubs, and as usual, keep anything from getting done.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bregs

    Dog and pony show

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