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. making sense

    Gee, all the cry babies here I'm guessing were cheering the numerous times Bush cited executive privilege to cover up his c-r-a-p.

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

      A cry baby is someone who brings up Bush in every discussion.

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

      Hardly...most real Conservatives are against big government in general.

      By the way, didn't Obama promise to be more transparent? How's that working out?

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

      GIVE it a rest......what else is GW's fault? Holder/Obama obviously have something to hide. Bush is playing golf these days. I suspect this is part of a formerly hidden agenda to attack gun rights. Obama is the gun/ammo industry's best salesman. They likely (silently) hope he is re elected.

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

      Bush cited executive privilege for national security; Obama is using it to protect himself. BIG difference. This foreign-born socialist's days are numbered and he knows it.

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

      Did he ever have to cover up someone dying because of his failed policies? Do you NOT want to find out why this agent was killed with one of our own guns?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. That one guy

    Anyone still want to say that they are not trying to hide something? Both should be in prison.

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

    I love how all of a sudden, the left is all for government secrecy and coverups...not too long ago, you people were foaming at the mouth to demand to know who leaked Plame's name to the media.

    Let me remind you people that what happened here was that the U.S. Government was shipping firearms to drug cartels in Mexico. The result, we had at least one border patrol agent gunned down with one of those weapons and the drug cartels have wreaked havoc across Mexico...and for what? What was the real purpose of doing that? Don't you Progressives care?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sliderx69

    Obama's program "leave no brother behind".

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. bam

    the new foxfacts king pledge....
    so u admit bush cheney was a dictatorship.......... and reagan clinton were kings as they did the same things

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Keith

    I guess I'm out of the cultural loop a bit, but I find it sort of odd that Issa is "Tweeting" about the upcoming hearing. It makes it sound like a H.S. student-council meeting.

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

      Keith, I completely agree. Democrat or Republican, in my opinion a committee chair has no business 'tweeting' about actions the committee is going to take prior to the fact. Undermining the integrity of the position??

      June 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Umm


    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. shannon g

    LOL! Everybody wants to make a scandal out of something.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dean

    Brian Terry's family has the right to know what happened. Congress has the same right. Holder is dirty and so is Obama.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. Brenda Jordan

    Great! Republicans CREATE JOBS – please stop wasting money on this... stop wasting money on trials like John Edwards ... STOP telling women what to do

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

      So you tell us then, Brenda Jordan, who is supposed to investigate the death of this agent? Who is responsible for all of the deaths of locals, and tourists in Mexico? With guns YOU paid for as a taxpayer!!! Do we get to just sweep all that under the rug like you do?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. phil

    The most transparent government in the history of the United States? What a joke this President is becoming. What is he hiding this time?

    It's time : BO MUST GO !

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Just_One

    HA, where's your transparency now, obama?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. David

    Obama has just become Bush and Holder has just become Alberto Gonzales.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cee Bee Gee

    Where's the Transparency, Mr. President?! I won't be voting for you again!

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

      ...cause we're all REAL sure you did the first time around.

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

      Agreed. This has been one of the least transparent administrations. Smoke and mirrows. Especially now going into the election you never know what is going to come out next.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. paul

    Reminds me of when Dick Cheney pulled the same stunt after the Valerie Plame scandal.. Don't get me wrong, it stinks no matter which party does it. But they both do.

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