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. Andrew Douglas

    Wow! How do you spell Nixon?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chuck

    just a minute ago, he was Charged with Contempt of Court

    looks like this is going to get ugly

    June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Red Blooded American

      Congress. Contempt of Congress.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. nolimits3333

    The Just for Men is poisoning Issa's brain.

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


      June 20, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Guest

    Another political move by President Oblamo.......They are covering up Fast & Furious and if Holder falls, this will again hurt Oblamo's chance at re-election.......This administration is DESPERATE!!!!!! What a one term wonder...

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Vivian

    How does this work – does the president have to cite a reason for asserting privilege, such as national security, jeopardizing ongoing operation/investigation, etc.?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  6. the trooth

    Is this is the transparency the Obama administration promised? Good bye Obama 2012

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. Big E in Big D

    Why am I not suprised?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Vernon T Wormer

    I remember something about having the most transparent administration ever. Must have been thinking of some other Obama administration.

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

      Then when he's transparent you cite him for "leaking" sensitive information...

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RodRoderick

    are there any independents running for next term?

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

      Check out Gary Johnson, running on the Libertarian Party ticket. Former governor of New Mexico, serious business-experience credibility, promising to eliminate a lot of government stupidity and wasted effort.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    Only problem is there is no such thing as Executive Privilige. Nice try Nixon. The courts will never allow it.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. sayer

    Perfectly legal. Issa can pound sand. The GOP has no solutions only finger pointing and blame.

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

      why evoke the privilage if they had nothing to hide??????????????

      June 20, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • your an idiot

      Great point! All the GOP does is blame previous administrations for their failed policies. Wait for it.......

      June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • shawn

      Holder needs to get pounded, I can't believe you'd be pro killing our agents. I thought you were a bleeding heart liberal. I guess that means your a hypocrite, as its ok if Republicans die, just not liberals. Holder approved the operation that not only killed one of our agents but countless tourist and Mexicans, these guns were found at Mass graves in Mexico. This operation was botched to the point that many people lost there lives to it, and you want to play partisan politics? I don't care who is responsible, I just want them jailed.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • huff

      Sayer, can you explain why Holder and now Obama are fighting hard to stop any attempt at investigating who was responsible for F&F? Both sides agree that F&F was a disaster and very wrong. But Obama and Holder want to put the blame on low ranking scapegoats instead of themselves. If F&F began with Holder or other high ranking officials why are you wanting to allow it and defend this type of corruption? I know the answer...because Bush or other GOP'ers were worse....good reason!

      June 20, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. bam

    cuz this is much more important than the economy and other things.....

    June 20, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. ImWatchingU

    Right or Left, something stinks here. Obama would only get involved IF those papers led to him or his administration. I think everyone calling this a witch hunt should step back and think about what THEY would do if it was their family members who got killed.

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

      This President needs to be impeached

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

      This unfortunate set of events does not speak well for the state of our democracy. It is clear that partisan bickering and a desire to hurt the president by any means has led to the president Obama having to use executive powers to protect Mr. Holder and many other dedicated Americans working at the DOJ. Operations like fast and furious have been going on a long time and under other administrations. It's unfortunate that the death of a border guard is being used as a political football. This will soon fade into the background noise and reappear on some second rate political website like World Net Daily along with the "Birthers".

      June 20, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby

    Makes you wonder what they are hiding. Perhaps Holder (and possibly Obama) knew about Fast & Furious from the start.

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


      June 20, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. James

    Hey libs! Say farewell to the sinking ship that is Obama

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