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. Terry Vann

    ......and furthermore, Issa fully knows that Holder is the ONE person responsible for shutting down the program, upon learning of it. When you listen to Issa, listen carefully to what he says...he's smart enough to not lie, but he certainly has the ability to not tell the truth.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. oldguy

    Richard Nixon, deja vu. Anything embarrassing to the executive branch elicits this response.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pudge

    How do you think the parents of the murdered border guard feel watching this unfold?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry Vann

      Their loss is beyond measure. I'm certain they are thankful that AG Holder stopped this program. It's more than Issa has done.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      They probably would like to know like the rest of us why there is so much being kept secret. There son is dead so how much worse could it be? But who knows how deep this really goes.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Personally I would feel violated that someone used the death of a loved one for political gain.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cambone

    Now we know they are trying to hide something and that it goes all the way to the White House. Obama, you are toast.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mrs. KATZ

    Good! The republicans are wasting taxpayer money on this ridiculous election year ploy.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shocked Democrat

    I am shocked and deeply embarrassed by the actions of Holder and now Obama. I simply do not understand why Obama would take such a disturbing action. Lives were lost, his Attorney General stalling and lying to Congress about the program, and now Obama is essentially saying that it was ok. I can no longer support the actions of this President. I am deeply saddened by the losses for the affected families and even more ashamed of our country's actions by Obama to cover it up.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      I'm suprised he isn't trying to keep his distance from this in case Holder has to step down or something. That way he can always claim he had nothing to do with it. Now he's thrown his hat in and people will wonder why.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Railcan

    Obama just lost my vote. This is patently ridiculous. I don't care if Romney ends up winning, I'm writing in Teddy Roosevelt this November.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. hingie68

    Obama and this corrupt regime know there is something to hide! Obama is the biggest piece of crap that ever lived.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Vernon T Wormer

    Ladies and Gentleman ! Please rise and welcome our President, Richard Milhous Obama !!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. mercenary76

    dictators can pull off a move like that and smile

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. DarkPoetinc

    Hmm........ OPEN government my butt..

    I bet he is going to say " Its Bush's fault!"

    Once again our president doing what he PROMISED he wouldn't do.... caught in another lie mister president?!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. OGR99

    Thank you Obama!!

    Can't wait for the polls..

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. ABC

    Obama Must Go!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark from Louisiana

    I guess this proves the white house was involved with Fast & Furious......

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. R

    So, I wonder how Mitt is going to be as President. It's a done deal now. Too bad Obama is too stubborn and/or stupid to get rid of the Holder's and Axelrod's dragging him down, but apparently he is. Obama news just keeps getting worse...

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
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