The U.S. House will proceed with a vote Thursday on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Holder has been cited for withholding documents in the "Operation Fast and Furious" weapons operation.
Fast and Furious was a federal operation that involved agents' allowing illegal sales of guns believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels. The idea was to track the sellers and purchasers, but things went awry when weapons found at murder scenes were traced back to the program.
As the proceedings continue with Holder, here's a bit of background on his time as Attorney General, as well as a timeline of the events involving Fast and Furious. (For an in-depth breakdown, you can also read more about the Fast and Furious investigation, which started with an agent's death.):
-February 3, 2009 – present – Attorney General of the U.S.
-1997- 2001 – Deputy Attorney General of the United States.
-The 82nd (and first African-American) Attorney General.
-Birth date: January 21, 1951
-Birthplace: New York, New York
-Birth name: Eric Himpton Holder, Jr.
-Parents: Eric Holder, realtor, and Miriam Yearwood Holder, a telephone operator
-Spouse: Dr. Sharon Malone
-Children: Maya, Brooke and Eric III
-Education: Columbia University, B.A., American history, 1973
Columbia University Law School, J.D., 1976
-Co-chaired Barack Obama's vice presidential selection team.
-Serves on several philanthropic boards, such as the Meyer Foundation, Save the Children, and Concerned Black Men, a group that seeks to help D.C. teens with problems such as sub-par academic achievement and pregnancy.
-1976-1988 – Trial attorney for the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section.
-1988-1993 – Appointed associate judge for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
-1993-1997 – Appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
-1997-2001 – Deputy attorney general of the United States. He was the first African-American to hold this position.
-2001 – Served as acting attorney general during John Ashcroft's Senate confirmation hearings.
-2001-present – Litigation partner with Covington & Burling LLP.
-2007-2008 – Senior legal advisor for Obama's presidential campaign.
-December 1, 2008 – President-elect Barack Obama nominates Holder to be attorney general.
-January 15, 2009 – Holder's confirmation hearing in the Senate begins.
-February 2, 2009 – Holder is confirmed by the Senate, 75 – 21.
-February 3, 2009 – Sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden.
-February 18, 2009 – While delivering an address on race at the Justice Department, Holder makes a controversial remark calling the United States a "nation of cowards" for not discussing race relations.
-November 2009 – Holder announces that some of the alleged 9/11 conspirators, including the alleged principal planner of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, would be tried in U.S. District Court in New York rather than by military tribunals. (He would reverse that decision five months later, saying Congress had taken the decision out of his hands by restricting where they could be tried.)
-July 2010 – The Justice Department challenges an Arizona law (SB 1070) that cracks down on illegal immigration. Holder contends that federal immigration law pre-empts state laws. (The U.S. Supreme Court, on June 25, 2012, would strike down the controversial law’s major provisions).
-October 12, 2011 – Congressional investigators issue a subpoena for communications from Holder relating to Operation Fast and Furious, in which agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed illegal sales of guns believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels. However, hundreds of firearms went missing, and weapons found at murder scenes in Mexico - and at the scene of a December 2010 gun battle in Arizona that left Brian A. Terry, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, dead - were traced back to the program.
-June 20, 2012 – Obama asserts executive privilege over the documents sought by a House committee investigating the controversial Fast and Furious program. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recommends that Holder be cited for contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to the Fast and Furious operation.
-June 27 – House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says the full House will vote June 28 on whether to cite the attorney general for contempt.
For more on Eric Holder and Fast and Furious: