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. Jr.G 2012

    All I know is that while at a job if the working class people such as myself are not preforming duties or getting things done we can expect a Termination notice and would be replaced quickly. The same should go for any political figure no matter who they are or who they know. After all its a job they swore to do for this country of ours.
    Chop a few heads off and see them get busy once they realize the people of this country are not going to put up with this sillyness when we have major issues not being addressed.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. disgustedNY

    OG the House is after Obama did you know that grass is green?

    June 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John Arbogast

    I can't see how this is not a perjury charge.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mickey1313

    Republicans are monsters. They forget that operation gunruner was the bush authorized action that lead to f&f.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @mickey1313,operation Gunrunner made famous by Bush and AG Gonzales,now this debacle continues from their initial operation left to the president and Holder to be saddled with,nice ha!!!They had no choice ,but to continue because of the vast amounts of guns passed during the Bush years,that's why Pres.Obama had to continue,to recoup those guns never retrieved during Bushs time in office,nothing more!!

      June 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    What about the time Cheney gave energy companies government advise to sidestep regulations,he was sued by concerned activist trying to stop his agendas.It didn't work,that's why "fracking" is now legal,Cheney made the EPA exempt fracking practices from EPA oversite.His Halliburton benefited greatly because they were the first corporation under Cheneys guidence to do just that for natural gas industries.Now everyone is suffering nationwide with states like Ohio,Pennsylvania and others recieving seismic activity never before recorded by geologists and water being made undrinkable nationwide because of lethal amounts of chemicals that don't have to be MSDS listed because of such talks by Cheney years before,that's criminal intent,more like treason,screwing your own country for a profit,but that's republicans again with profits over people, that's their motto,we don't have to live with it either,do we!!

    June 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wOT

    Why not tell all of our not to be known things , like who killed Dr. King! All of those withches in Congress should be de -roomed!

    June 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carlos

    Yes he did appear in front of the subcommittee.
    BUT, he NEVER volunteered 1 single new piece of information, ...HAS HE????

    June 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
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