Congressional Republicans are set to issue a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder, charging he has obstructed the Congressional investigation into the Fast and Furious Mexican gun running operation, according to CBS News.
But the Huffington Post is reporting that the citation, which is would be designed to force the Justice Department to release thousands of documents related to the operation, may not be issued if Holder agrees preemptively to hand them over.
The citation will be issued by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been leading the investigation into the issue, and eventually voted on by the full House.
If the citation passes, Congress could then go to the courts to try to force the Justice Department to deliver the documents Republicans say are being withheld. The threat of legal action could also at that point bring the two sides together to come up with a deal.
Holding a senior presidential aide in contempt is a rare congressional action. It could either prove an embarrassment to the Obama administration or could backfire on Republicans if they are viewed as over-reaching.
But the move is certain to keep the focus on a policy that has proved a PR disaster for the administration.
The guns, which were supposedly going to be tracked, ended up being used in dozens of killings South of the Border, including a U.S. agent.