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. Yep

    I find it ironic that of all people Mr. Issa, former car theif and who knows what other illegal activities he's been into, is leading the charge on this one. Check any of those warehouses lately? They should just release the info and move on as long as it doesn't put active operatives in danger. It never looks good when you keep information secret.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Don

    Obama and Team: Thank you for holding off to the corporate-paid, extremists without any of their own convictions (JP Morgan hearings, anyone!? Or that No-Tax wacko!) or moral/political standing. Finally, I see a spine from the Dems!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Would You Look At That

      @Don... moral/political standing??? you're kidding me? those two words (moral & political) shouldn't be used in the same sentence when you describe politicians, especially democrats... some names that immediately come to mind... Rahm Emanuel, John Edwards, Rod Blagojevich, George Ryan, Anthony Wiener

      June 21, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. BigRed

    Who doesn't have contempt for congress? Arrest Rep. Darrell Issa and the other Republicans in congress, place them in a large camp surrounded by high voltage fences far away from humanity. Feed them, but let them have no contact with the outside world and then let them go extinct.

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

    Jake – you support the great Divider in Chief?

    June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Walter Merritt

    If you idiots actually believe that Obama is invoking Executive Privilege to cover himself then you have no idea of the extensive history in which Executive Privilege has been invoked including under Bush. Morons

    June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ted

    I am still waiting for Holder to bring federal hate crime charges against the Black Panthers who called on murder of the white people.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TonyD

    Darrel Issa is an obstructionist and like many Republicans places his and his party's personal gains above everything else.

    Granted, it was fun to watch him literally cry when he didn't get to be the governor of CA after he instigated the recall of Governor Gray Davis.

    Can the rest of CA vote to give SD and its surrounding area back to Mexico?

    June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primal 4 Life

      Please don;t sit there and pretend the Democrats don;t do the exact same thing. If you do, then you are just a moron, period.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. HenryMiller

    "Voting on strictly partisan lines..."

    In other words, House Democrats are complicit in an effort to illegally obstruct justice.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. joe t

    People need to work. The Tax laws need to be reviewed. Big Banks need to be reigned in. Congress plays games. Makes sense doesn't it. The founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    I always find it humorous when liberals complain about the house wasting time on this. When they were in power they'd try to impeach Bush for spitting on the sidewalk if they could. They can dish it out, but can not take it in return. Their whining is pathetic. If Romney wins, I'm expecting mass suicides by the Obama lemmings

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

      They never tried to impeach Bush. Get your facts straight ... otherwise you look like the m0r0n that you are!

      June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tex

    In my 60 years, I have never seen such weak leadership. This president needs to go run a hot dog stand.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeffrey Cox

    This is what happens when you have a group of Congressmen sign a pledge to one man, saying that they will essentially do what he decides needs to be done.

    We lost representation in government a long time ago ... unless you're in the 1% that is. I guess there's PLENTY of representation ... if you've got the dough!

    June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beverly

    If the GOP/Tea congress would spend the same amount of time on the jobs bill, dream act, budget, taxes, economy, that directly affect every American they would be doing their job. Congress has been in session all year, making a salary and doing nothing to help the economy and they can call a hearing in an instance, and won't work with this president. When you have the Senator McConnell from Kentucky stating that the main job of the GOP/Tea is to make President Obama a one term president. To me that means, we don't care about anything except us, we don't have work for the people who sent us here, we are occupying a seat until the next election. REMEMBER, they tried to bring this country to a standstill over raising the deficit last August. They are going to do the same thing this year and blame the President Obama again. Americans have seen this movie before. The only way to help our economy and President Obama is to
    get out the vote !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yobi

    It seems like a never seen before attack on this administration, i would have given credit where credit's due if GOP were after his policies but they're after himself. If it's not his policies, what the heck is their problem then?

    June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. FLIndpendent

    All you Repubs jumping for joy over this witch hunt, what is it you think President Obama is hiding? Seriously, all the Repubs know how to do is hold investigations. They don't know how to govern so this is how they waste our time and tax dollars. The loss of the border agent was unfortunate but I just don't see why this is so scandalous as it was a program started before Obama's term. Also, since you think everything the President does this year is political, could we not say the same about this move by the Repubs especially since the contempt of Congress vote was along party lines?

    June 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
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