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. JoeFL

    Of course in '07 the Republican house looked the other way when the war criminal Cheney was charged with CIA leaks.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John Tighe

    The GOP are hypocrites. Obama hasn't changed the way the office of the president works from the way Bush ran things. One of these was unexpected.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chappers

    Bush used executive privilege 6 times, Obama, once.

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

    When was the last time you heard anything voted upon that didn't have the phrase "voting on strictly partisan lines." Shows how screwed up our current government is, with both parties to blame.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    I wish the house would find me in contempt. I have a lot of contempt for the entire congress.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. drew

    good, i hope the houses passes it to and they send holder to jail for this. i hope the president wasn't involved but maybe he was. this is some shameful stuff.

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

    Can you say.......... COVER UP!

    NO doubt there is information in these papers that the obama adminstration does NOT want the American people to see.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • stevelb1

      Bush jammed this Exec. Privilege down our throats 6 times.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DB

    Geesh, when did ht egovernment stop being for the people, by the people, and of the people?

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

      Umm, since ALWAYS?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Miller Barber

    Sounds like Obama is becoming Richard Nixon??? Maybe we need a Judge Sirca or a special prosecutor? No this is the Liberal Party not the Republicans.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. danO

    what's the difference between this and when Bush & Cheney did the same thing to hide Cheney's past deeds?

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

      The difference is AMERICA!!!! And, to a lesser degree, FREEDOM!!!!! Or whatever....

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

      No difference on the surface at least..but does that make it right in this case? If someone smacks me in the face, does that make it OK for me to smack you in the face?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Skeptic

    Issa isn't. Nuff said.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. midogs2

    Trying to protect operatives in the field (Mexico) is my guess..............................

    June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jack from Tennessee

    GOP is reason this country's trouble... Any who fool who votes for them deserves they own fate

    June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack from Tennessee


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

      Jack from Tennessee, you are an idiot. The country is going down the crapper because all politicians are in it for themselves. Why do so many of these people come to Washington with a little bit of money and leave millionaires? Most of them are corrupt. To blame one party is wrong. The banking problem lies in the hands of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (both democrats). You are nothing but a partisan hack. Take your lies elsewhere.

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

      Jack from Tennessee....how that public edacation wurking out four yew?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • I have a brain

      Right... the GOP is the party hiding evidence here. Your comment was so blind it makes you sound stupid. Please, for the love of God, stop blindly following your party and start questioning everything every public official does. Don't be a lemming. That is why our country is in this problem. Too many blind voters like you in this country.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The King

    Being held in contempt by that kangaroo court is a badge of honor. Congratulation General Holder!

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

      I'm sure the family of agent Terry may feel differently.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Obama worshiper

    How dare you criticize Obama. Don't you realize how lucky we are as a nation for God himself to be our president. Obama is my personal savior, and should be yours too. He has done more for this country than any other president. We now have 15 trillion dollars in debt. Praise God Obama in the highest. He is protecting Mexican war lords who kill infidel border patrol agents. Obama is much greater than any of you right wing nut jobs who don't believe our savior has a birth certificate. After all it was signed by the official registrar – Ukelele.


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