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. HIDE BEHIND

    Listen to yourselves, it is not the crimes, you sound like little children, "Why can't Obama do it, you let Bush do it;Its not fair".
    Damn it. both the S.O.B's and those who support their actions are condoning the acts that take away civil liberties and destroyed your form of government,So that today all you have to argue over is who was best S.O.B

    June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      True, but our legal system, like it or not, is based on president. Once it rules one way, they will always rule the same way. For the gop to allow bush to get away with literal murder, then they are hypocrites to do otherwise for obama. Also gunrunner, f&f precerser, was a bush op with that huge terror group gonzalez

      June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hingedlwnb

    I've had contempt of Congress for years.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jackie

    Oh yes we need change now.....we really do

    June 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • fltony

      Let us HOPE that it comes...quickly

      June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff in San Diego

    Shocking! How can this be? Republicans are going after the Obama administration? Who would have thought of such a thing? Really? Why didn't CNN and every other news source just headline this weeks ago as "Republicans will vote to hold Holder in contempt." Because everyone knew it would happen.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nathan

    I can't wait until Obama and Holder are gone from public office.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. spynnal

    Political theater at its finest. Lets see if the 11% approval Congress has can hit single digits by election time.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jh1289

      Well said and spot on.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Walter

    Love hearing the libs try and justify this. Holder and Obama are in way over their heads. Of course in Obama's case, he was in over his head on January 20, 2009.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey Cox

      Walter, what color is the sky in your little world?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • spynnal

      Justification is easy. He employed executive privilege. Don't like that executive privilege exists? Fine, vote for people who will work to remove it. As it stands, most presidents have employed its usage.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoeyj

      I love seeing you conservatives continue to JUDGE, HATE AND FIGHT FOR YOUR GREED.

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

      Walter, I hate to deflate your misguided Republican ego, but we Democrats don't need to try to explain anything.
      It is really quite funny in a way how people of your ilk have a selective memory when it comes to what occurred during the great GW's presidency.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeffrey Cox

    Nothing new. I've been holding Congress in contempt for years!

    June 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • We Had Hope And Got Short Changed

      I have been holding Obama and the Senate.

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

      I wonder what they want to hide.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skeptic

      You and 90% of the American people. This charge is strictly a joke.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. matrix0900

    Hey, Hey, they need to cite me. I have way nore contempt for Congress than Holder does.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tony

    I've learned since 2008, to hold the Republican Party in contempt personally. And I'm an independent voter.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dante666

    This has to be a first – Odds are that Holder has something to hide from the public and Obama is protectiing his appointment. No matter how this comes down – The President needs to man up and broker a deal – trying to buffer the Congress – just playing into thier hands. Tough moment Mr. President – Throw Holder under the bus or jump infront yourself – this isn't going to be pretty.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PADoc1

    WHERE ARE THE JOBS, MR. ISSA? WHERE ARE THE JOBS??

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    Funny how Obama roasted GW Bush for asserting "executive privilege" in 2007, but then tries it himself to keep his @ss out of hot water. Transparency?? I think not. Change?? Nope. More promises broken.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • w5cdt

      Well...it's totally political and we all know it.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fn0rdz

      I must have missed the part where he promised not to assert EP. Could you point out that broken promise to us?

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

      Seems he learned it from one of the worst...lol

      June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JoeFL

    Anyone remember?...
    Bush used executive privilege to avoid charges against Cheney in the CIA leak.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuckles

      So Obama = Bush and Cheney = Holder? Why doesn't Obama just resign since his entire presidency is based on how awful Bush was and now he is the same way from the Patriot Act to Guantanamo to Afghanistan to the sorry-@!# economy?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • We Had Hope And Got Short Changed

      Two wrongs do not make a right.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoeyj

      The Bush Family has given and done a lot for America...........TWO WARS, UNEMPLOYMENT, BAD HOUSING MARKET, BAD ECONOMY, DICK CHANEY, TAX BREAKS FOR THE 1% WEALTHY, ETC..........

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Vince

    The Dems should have tried Bush when they had the chance...as soon as they announced they were going to drop it I thought, "just wait....the Repubs will still cause some BS down the line, regardless of trying to make nice".

    June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      Oh those laughable libs. Whenever they know they're in trouble, they pull out the "Bush" card. Thankfully, the only ones falling for that anymore are the libs themselves. Independent voters (the only ones who matter) know this is Obama's "reign", and that they are the ones who will be ending it in November.

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