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. longshot

    GOTP out on another mindless witch hunt...dig into the reality of what's happened here and what's being asked for, not the talk-radio talking points

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Zeke2112

      How you equate the murder of Americans courtesy of the Administration's bungling with a mindless witch hunt is beyond comprehension. Are you so blinded by party loyalty that you can turn a blind eye to something this serious?

      June 20, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • gpbritus

      you are in the minority. I'll bet you would be among the first to support the replacement of democracy with the executive privilege of hard left socialism. Oh sorry...you are already doing it!

      June 20, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. lawdog1521

    As a former peace officer of 12 years I'm disgusted the Attorney General, the highest law enforcement officer in the land, would cover for and conceal information that incriminates ATF officials. Officers on both sides of the border are dead because of this scandal and the administration wants to play politics rather than punish those involved. Words can express how ashamed I am of this administration right now.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mrs. KATZ

    27 months of job growth under Obama after the bush administration lost 750,000 jobs a month. Thank you, Mr. Obama.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Sanders

      Wake up, you're dreaming.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. GOvt ABuse

    Executive Privilege? I thought we gained independence from this sort of thing 236 years ago! The government we elect is answerable to "We the people" not the other way around.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lainie11

    Complete corruption from the top down. Every time somebody gets close to the truth, Obama invokes some kind of executive privilege. When will the Congress step in to halt all this dirty corruption.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. Greg

    What happened to Obama's desire of transparency in government? Hypocrite. I've never liked either party, but leaned toward the Democrats. I hated Kerry but voted for him because I knew how bad Bush was. This time I might force myself to vote for Romney. Obama has Bush for brains and maybe less ethics.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. ThingsRbad

    Obama wants to disarm the citizens of the USA so that it will be easier for him to be the first Dictator of the USA.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • BillyBrasky

      What planet do you live on? How exactly is Obama disarming anyone?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      This whole gun running plan was the first step in more gun control, and we can all see that now. . .

      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • theprophetmotive

      Impeach Obama!

      June 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miller Barber

      Just don't vote for him in 2012

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

      Please disregard 'my' prior post. I certainly did not post "impeach obama." I think i've been hacked...

      June 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      I hope that people who think like you do are the first to be disarmed.

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

      And you're another clueless i d i o t....

      June 20, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • terry

      Where in hell did that come from?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brenda B

      What do think that President Obama has done to take away any ones right to purchase a gun?

      June 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mrs. KATZ

    27 months of job growth under Obama after the bush administration lost 750,000 jobs a month.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • gpbritus

      Mrs Katz...you are either naive or a left wing ideologue. The job growth statistics are a sham and a lie. The question should be, "how many men and women of working age do not have full-time jobs. The answer to that my deluded friend is in excess of 70million. Counting only people on benefits is a total fraud. The clock is ticking for this administration.....Tick, tock.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    Whatever happened to "the truth will set you free"?

    June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. jaylee

    LOL. Well, how do ya like that???
    Obama pulls a George Bush tactic outta his hat. LOL.
    That will p.o. Issa.
    How dare a Democrat use a tactic the last GOP administration perfected!!!!
    Good job!!!!!

    June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mrs. KATZ

    War criminals bush and cheney left America trillions in debt after inheriting a huge surplus from President Clinton.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Get Real

      Clinton's surplus came from creative accounting. It was a lie made up to discredit conservatives.

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

      I see. So at this rate he should be running against Nixon. This weasel is going down come November and the weasel knows it...

      June 20, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. OregonTom

    If modern firearms were legal to poses in Mexico this all would be a non issue. Russia , Romania and China sell new firearms to cartels. The US should be able to sell modern semi auto rifles and pistols to Mexican citizens. There is money to be made folks.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Exceptional America!

      Sure, you can sell a lot of things and make money. The problem is we have laws. Right? We do still havethose rascally things, don't we?

      June 20, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. brass monkey

    So, the POS, I mean the POTUS, is covering up the murder of a federal agent commited by the attorney general? Gotcha.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Nixon? He's the President that was conned-into allowing executive privilege. As soon as he signed it into law, he was outted! Yes, there are men more powerful than your. Men richer than your country. Men who actually own the worlds federal reserve systems, and any political leader wishing to audit the fed never gets elected, if running for president. Any elected President knows better than to even ask for an audit of the fed. (incl. those fed too much) he he

    June 20, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sam

    Curious to hear the justification for this. National security? With a border patrol agent dead, the public deserves answers on this matter.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Exceptional America!

      Yup and we're gonna get answers to........No matter where this goes, left, right or center this stinks and the deeper we dig into this manure pile the more it stinks. Yes, America wants answers and ou can bet your bottom dollar we are going to get those answers to this cover up and a whole lot more. Repudiate the thugs in 2012.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
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