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. saywhat

    Holder vs Issa. A long and hard fight to the finish. Keep holding on to your seats, folks. Election year adds to the drama.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Pete

    Tell Issa to pack salt and try doing something constructive for this country instead of organizing witch hunts,he hasn't done anything productive since he was seated in 2001.He's another corporate goon that was a left over from the Bush years,he's an old dog definitly barking up the wrong tree,Bush created Operation Gunrunner when he was in office ,so go after his AG Gonzales,he knows what's going on,not Holder,they started this mess ,Pres.Obama as usual just inherited it!!!

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

      Obama did this because he is just as guilty as Holder. When the truth comes out about these two (Holder and Obama), it will make Watergate look like child's play. These two are theives and liars and both should be removed from office.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Que

      Just like Obama, blame Bush!

      June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Are you serious? If what you say is true, then produce everything as ordered by congress. Holder should be arrested for this. Who is he protecting?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • MobiusEight

      I'm pretty sure Obama wouldn't be withholding anything that he could use to blame Bush for things. That's what Obama ran his campaign on! Well, that and Hope and Change. By the way, how's that workin' out for ya?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Roberto

      The DEmolib way ...pas the buck, point the finger, take no responsibility, take all the credit. Maybe they should pay more attention to this administrations other scandals?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • LyingLibs

      Keep your head stuck in the sand, Pete. You won't blame Obama for ANYTHING because you are a lying tool blinded by your moronic ideology.

      Holder has now tied his sinking boat to Obama's boat. Romney's campaign was just given a big gift for the election.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • bam

      yeah bush never happened, we are not slowly climbing out of the HOLE bush dropped the economy in.... all the graphs and charts showing the economy coming out of the bush hole are wrong according to gop dolts....
      FYI the economy can not get LOWER than what bush dropped it too.... hey how about MORE tax cuts to solve the problems even those taxes are at their lowest in 50years.... ooops gop dolts say they are higher

      June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • huff

      Operation Gunrunner under Bush was in cooperation with the Mexican Gov. to track the guns. When Mexico failed to follow through the operation was stopped. Fast & Furious began with NO attempt to even contact the Mexican Gov. There was NO method to track the guns once they crossed the border. That points to other reasons for the operation than Gunrunner intended. The fact that high level DOJ members have been found to be involved in F&F is the reason for the investigation. If Holder and his immediate staff were involved in F&F thats a huge reason to get him out of there. No way should we allow this type of political corruption to exist. To wash it away as you desire is just plain dangerous and wreckless.

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

      So we should not try to get to the bottom of this and get the truth? Heavens knows the government always tells us everything right away...yah right.

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

      It's funny how every time this administration is in a pickle, they always seem to side step the rules for themselves. You can say what you want about Issa, but let us not lose sight of the reason for these meetings. Guns were put into the hands of the wrong people, but the most important tragedy of all is the loss of one of our own. The loss of one of our own b/c of an administration's hiccups warrants accountability. The loss of one is one too many. Do you mean to tell me it's okay for our government to begin taking the lives of its own citizens, and not be held accountable?

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

      An uneducated statement....

      June 20, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Rit

      This blame Bush nonsense is childish... It's long been time for the left to put on their big boy trousers and end this immature foolishness.

      Bush's Justice department did indeed set a gunrunner program in place, but the Bush Justice department ran their gunrunner operation successfully and correctly... The Obama Justice department failed miserable on all counts and is only making their failure worse by this coverup....

      It looks like it's time wake up Woodward & Bernstein....

      June 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      Obama..as usual, has only one answer for all of his own mistakes and failures: Blame Bush. Americans have lost 40% of their wealth in the last 3 years. That's ALL on Obama's watch.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yakobi

      Keep singing that tired, tune, Pete, how Obama inherited everything bad and is completely guiltless. Perhaps it plays to his base, but the rest of America is getting tired of 4 years of that refrain and will demonstrate their displeasure come November.

      And FYI, this is about Holder's current coverup, not about a similar program started under Bush.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ancient Texan

    Holder just linked the White House to the stonewalling coverup of the Fast And Furious operation. Could it be that the paper trail goes clear to the Oval Office?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • toughtimes

      Smart money has known that for a long time and says it does.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. TriXen

    King Obama strikes again.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerbs

      Yes, so much transparency!

      June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @TriXen,Pres.Obama just inherited more from Bush ,so read up before opening your mouths ,you republicans and your theories get me sick,just more crap coming out of illiterates that's all.Read up on AG Gonzales and Operation Gun runner,that's Bushs baby,not Pres.Obamas...Just more messes Holder and the president have to clean up.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Ced

      Almost every President has invoked executive privilege at some time during their administration. Does that make them all kings?

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

      How about you go look up how many times he has used his executive order.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. WS

    Obama has finally admitted that his administration is the most dishonest, power-hungry and corrupt in modern American history. Of course anyone with an IQ over 80 already knew this...

    June 20, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • bam

      iq of 80? there u go again trying to say someone is bush the king of the stooo pids.

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

      IQ over 80 leaves out all the DemocRATS. They only know what they are allowed to think when they get someone to read their daily e-mail from the DNC out loud to them.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Riche

    This administration is terrible, jus terrible.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick A

    no mention in this article of the underlying issue here (aside from the usual Right/Left divide) – the dead border guard killed with a "fast and furious" weapon.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. WS

    Holder obviously considers himself above the law, but that just places him in line with Obama and his entire administration. The really hilarious part is that Obama has betrayed the Liberal Cause every time it's been to his political advantage to do so, and yet the mindless liberal drones have invested so much time and energy idolizing and worshiping him that they are unable to admit this plain truth.

    Holder – worse than John Mitchell
    Obama – more corrupt than Richard Nixon

    June 20, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • bam

      so what does that put bush cheney at?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. mike58

    Get the Docs and then can Holder

    June 20, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jasie

    This is a lawless administration-we get deeoer in trouble every day.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. RodRoderick

    Oliver North? Ollie???

    June 20, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      Ollie admitted what he did. Holder will lie about it all the way to his prison cell.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Let's see how this unfolds...I'll withold my scoring for Bread and Circuses until later.
    Although we know, from the past, that "Executive Priviledge" is code for "cover-up".

    June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. David

    November cannot get here soon enough.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. making sense

    looks like the which hunt is over now. Go home people

    June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      You must be a democrat since you don't know how to spell witch.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOB

    OMG What are they hiding. This is the most "open" administration yet, what a joke. Vote Holder and Obama out.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob1


      June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Duke

      When those files are finally opened someone is going to jail and they won't be able to use their usual fake excuse of blaming Bush.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
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