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. Philip

    Who here would be so kind so as to post how many times President Obama has used his executive privilege, not just to keep a pc. of paper secret from you, also cases where government agencies were ordered to stand-down by way of executive privilege.
    No, don't 'google' it silly. If you don't know, say so! And post an educated guess.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mrs. KATZ

    Republicans are grievously disappointed that the DOW is nearing 13,000 after Obama brought it back from 7,900.

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

      it means the volume of trading has gone up because the smart ones are liquidating their assets and buying gold, bullets and MRE's, you moron. Obama is a disaster that keeps getting worse. When he is defeated, everything will improve.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      You comment relates to the article in what way?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. saratogafan

    F&F is another Bush nightmare that Obama and his team got stuck with. Two foolish wars, banking system failure, financial industry abuses, auto industry collapse and nonsense like this are Bush's legacy. Obama has shown considerable dignity by not pointing his finger at his inept predecessor and the entire crew of Republican dunces he now has to deal with in Washington.

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

    yeah cuz obama was president when bush started this gun scandal....

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

      You are soo stup id it is scary... Bush had a program that was set up with Mexico to track the guns. This program was stopped in May of 08. Get your facts right before coming on and looking stup id...

      June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • We Had Hope And Got Short Changed

      Bush stopped it, Obama started it up again, and it was under Obama’s watch that this happened.

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

      Sure it was.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      @ we had hoped and got short changed – The first reply of " sure it was " was posted as a stand alone by CNN azzwipes – same type of people that setup the murder.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      That`s totally different, because America.

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

      None of this was even slightly scandalous until Obama's Justice Department took it over. That is when they decided to use this to inflict injury and public opinion against the 2nd amendment. Get the facts straight.

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

      Bush didn't commit any gun scandal. Holder did and now he's going down and going to take Obama with him all for the sake of a cover-up.

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

      The issue is not the gun scandal, the issue is Holder committing perjury before Congress. The cover-up always gets you.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Johnyy Pal

    Incredible. Goodbye Obama. I can't wait til election day when you are sent packing.

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

    I support Obama and I'd like to see the GOP fracture itself into oblivion. But I need a good explanation for why disclosure on a failed initiative should be suppressed by executive privilege.

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

    The American people deserve to know who authorized this botched program that led to the death of an agent. The family of this agent deserves to know who is responsible. Who is Obama trying to protect? Hold Holder in contempt! Continue to demand answers. The Department of Justice must answer to the American public!

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

    I'll bet Mitt started giggling when he heard

    June 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mrs. KATZ

    Republicans keep trying these smoke screens to cover up the fact they have nothing to offer and will do nothing in the future.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    OBAMA 'Executive Privilege'

    " "I" Will have the MOST transparent administration in ALL of American history !!! "

    LOL !!! LOL !!!!!! LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Investment Advisor

    Nothing to cover-up here... eh Mr Obama? Can anyone define the word "transparency" for me? Mr. Obama used it a lot in 2008 when he was campaigning.....I'm confused.

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

    Well that can't be good, the Justice Department afraid to show what happened? What about "JUSTICE"?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. hurryup 2012

    If this doesn't convince the remaining Obama crowd that this man needs to be voted out of office, nothing will.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • OldVet

      They will never wake up as you can tell from the comments. If, like so many blind fanatics are claiming, Bush/Cheney started this, why wouldn't Obama/Holder be extremely interested in exposing what ever proof they are hiding behind their executive privilege? I was no fan of Bush and am no fan of Obama, I am a fan of the position of POTUS however. If there is evidence pointing either direction, it should be brought forth, not hidden.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    When Bush used executive priviledge the liberals were up in arms. Now that their boy does it they have no problem with it.
    This whole thing stinks to high heaven. The criminals in the WH are hiding something extremely toxic and the American people have a right to know exactly how incompetent these baffoons are.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. gpbritus

    Guilty, guilty, guilty!! The stench of hypocricy and corruption is overwhelming.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
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