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. Mike

    The more things "Hope & Change" the more they stay the same.....

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob1

    Typical from this hypocritical administration.

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

    Foe what?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. William Pagdon

    It is troubling that this Administration behaves no differently then the previous Administration. The previous one has been derided as criminal. Therefore, the current one should suffer the same.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mrs. KATZ

    GM is alive and bin-Laden is dead. Thank you, Mr. Obama.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      to MS Katz....You mean bin laden is dead because of Dick Cheney's assasin team?

      Why do you think he is invoking executive privalidge? When GW did it, he was a crook......what is this guy?

      Do they think we are that stupid............

      June 20, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • theprophetmotive

      Impeach Obama now!

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

    So this does prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the POTUS Admin was heavily involved.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. DG

    I am so glad that Executive Privilege is being used. Bush-Cheney were the Kings of Executive Privilege. Issa and his evil Republicons allowed Bush-Cheney to lie to the American people about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq costing thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars, all to help Cheney's Halliburton and other defense contractors rip the American people off. And the list goes on and on of the Republicons evil ways. Issa and his Republicon cohorts should be tried for treason against our precious country and hanged along with Bush-Cheney.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mrs. KATZ

    Republicans have nothing to offer, so they continue with this trumped-up nonsense.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. olepi

    President Bush exerted Executive Privilege 6 times, so President Obama gets 5 more for free.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • flip

      Obama promised every chance he got to give us a more transparent government. He was clearly pimping his moral for votes. He has one of the most deceptive and secretive administrations this country has ever had and that is saying a lot given the previous 8 years. Face it, Obama is Bush 2.0 only worse

      June 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Michealangelo

    Bush gets us into an illeagal war and all is good. Obama (and Holder did make an honest attemt to satisfy that fool) gets involded and now we say jail. This president has been treated like sh.. and its only because he is black. Thats right I said it...I said what has been on the racist minds since day 1 of his administration. The last 3 years has not been policy issues but blatant racism. Everyone is just afraid to say it...not I.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      What you say is absolutely true Michaelangelo. I hate to say it, but this president has suffered more disrespect than any other in histor.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Elaine Andreski

    Corruption from the top down. When will our congress, both House and Senate take action against this Communist president, the first in history? What makes Obama think he can invoke executive privilege every time somebody gets close to the truth? Complete corruption, disgusting, disgusting, disgusting.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Oh, the (phony) outrage.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. flip

    Hows that transparent government working for you? Looks more opaque from down here. Sad thing is, millions of Americans are going to buy the same bull once again in November.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sheldon

    Will this provide more jobs??

    June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • HWB

      Nothing Obama does provides for more jobs. He is still on the job training himself.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. HWB

    This administration is sooooo corrupt, it is making Mugabe looking good.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    The "most transparent" Whitehouse looks worse than Nixon. What a bunch of crooks.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
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