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. Tex

    Sandusky got to Barack when he was a child...

    June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IndyRR

    The fact that the Bush administration and its policies ran our economy off a cliff is not "classified information," its a fact. Repubs want to forget about it, and Pres. Obama simply reminds them of it.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tex

    It's coming out in Sandusky's trial tomorrow...Barack played slap the weeny with him.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve

    To Jeffery Cox. I never said they tried to impeach him. I said they would have tried if they thought they could get away with it. Time for you to attend the remedial reading and comprehension class.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey Cox

      If they could have? The were in power ... AND could have ... and didn't.

      I understood your dribbling quite well. Go back to your sandbox. You're what's wrong in this country today, Steve.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Jeffrey, as your writing appears to be of an child, isn't past you bedtime? Be a good boy, drink your milk and turn off the computer before your father comes in and shuts it for you. Generally I do not post like this but I find your gibberish particularly offensive.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DJ Reality

    Why did congress investigate the needless slaughter of American lives in Iraq? Where are the W.M.D.'s? Why so many American lives were wasted on a hoaxes? Most importantly why they can not solve the debt crisis.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FLIndpendent

    Those of you who keep saying where's the transparency need to really think about this Presidency. I believe it is because of a lot of transparency by this administration that we have become so divided. President Obama has exposed all the ills of our country by trying to tackle them and most of them are very controversial. How many of you look at the White House website? Maybe we can't handle transparency!!

    June 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Yakobi

    Like I said 2 years ago, Holder should have been gone 2 years ago. In other words, he should have never been picked for A.G. Clearly the wrong man for the job.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. No Coverups

    I can't believe the people that are making this political.

    Our government thought it was a good idea to put thousands of gun into the hands of mexican drug cartels. How crazy is this? Can anybody deny that this is insane?

    A US border agent is then killed with one of these guns.

    Republican/Democrat- it is unbelievable that US citizens do not want to know what happened, and why the government is so desperate to cover this up.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      The facts are pretty well known. What isn't known is who knew what when. Rep. Issa being the thorough knife in the Democrats side is just twisting it a little. But it's time to move on.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Portland tony

    If you friggin' rednecks think the only problems facing this nation are a botched sting operation, go back and repeat the third grade, if you got that far. If you really thought about it, this case has little or nothing to do with American gun rights, just a few inept political appointees and bureaucrats who weren't thinking.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinarello

      No, it is a perjury charge for Holder lying to Congress

      June 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Julie

    Anybody with any intelligence can see right threw this "smoke screen"! Obama 1012 and beyone!!.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Yakobi

    I wonder if the leaker of classified information inside the White House will roll over on Holder...

    June 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Luke,AZ

    Vote out all Republicans !!!

    June 20, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Miss Kitty

    none of this republican gunsmoke politics better not lay a hand on the hair my beloved deputy eric holden...

    June 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Do The Right Thing

    The best way to move past the political stalemate currently taking place in congress and the general public is to pick an issue that is universally, undeniably wrong and work together to work on a solution.

    The US governmet handed over thousands of guns to criminals with the intent of tracking these guns- but absolutely no plan in place to actually track them. Why is it a witchhunt to want to know how this happened?

    Don't the american citizens deserve to know how such a grossly negligent plan came to be and was approved and carried out?

    Doesn't the family of the federal agent killed by one of these guns deserve an explanation?

    Don't we need assurance that a dangerous government program such as this is never carried out again?

    June 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Eyes of Texas

    BEWARE! Have no doubt Americans are in perilous times! Pelosi wants to ban some rights to free speech. Obama has authorized Secretary Clinton to give the U.N.the authority to comtrol American's small arms. This in conjunction with Obama signing Executive Orders to declare Martial Law anywhere and anytime the president sees fit. Along with his Executive Order to authorize the assassinations of American citizens. Very ominous indeed! Be prepared!

    June 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
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