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Oversight Panel to Vote on Citing Holder for Contempt

The House Oversight Committee will vote June 20 on whether to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been leading the investigation into the administration’s handling of the Fast and Furious gun running operation into Mexico, issued a statement today charging Holder with withholding evidence.

The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them.  These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics.  The Justice Department’s actions have obstructed the investigation. Congress has an obligation to investigate unanswered questions about attempts to smear whistleblowers, failures by Justice Department officials to be truthful and candid with the congressional investigation, and the reasons for the significant delay in acknowledging reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious.

The House Republican leadership, which has appeared wary of charging Holder with contempt during an election year, now appears to have gotten behind Issa. Speaker Boehner issued a supportive statement and suggested he would bring the citation to the floor if the committee passes it.

Either the Justice Department turns over the information requested, or Congress will have no choice but to move forward with holding the Attorney General in contempt for obstructing an ongoing investigation.

Boehner has increasingly been showing backbone this year, threatening just a few weeks ago not to increase the debt ceiling without commensurate spending cuts.

14 Responses to Oversight Panel to Vote on Citing Holder for Contempt

  1. Could be they smell blood in the water.
    A floundering Presidential campaign, a strong contender, the beatback of the union movement and the upcoming decisions by the Supremes make this time the time to act.
    It’s a shame, really, that the DOJ didn’t accept responsibility for what was a poorly thought out program, send condolences to the family of BrianTerry, and assure congress that the program was scrapped.

  2. The administration was going to use F&F as a wedge issue to severely limit the 2nd amendment. It backfired and now they continue to slow-walk Congress’ demands. Holder should be held in contempt and ultimately prosecuted for his unlawful behavior.

  3. I sure haven’t seen any of that backbone in the House leadership, Keith. I’m just hoping this isn’t another bait and switch tactic from the blubbering Boehner. We have the same problem with Texas state legislators. In Texas, the lt. gov. has more power than the governor. The lt. gov. acts as president of the Texas Senate and decides whether or not bills see the light of day. In the last legislative session Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Leader Joe Straus publicly endorsed the TSA anti-groping and sanctuary city bills, yet behind the scenes pulled strings to make sure they failed to make it to passage. That’s the same kind of dirty tricks going on in D.C.

    Really hope you are right and Boehner has seen the light, Keith. The families of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata deserve to know who in our federal government is responsible for their loved one’s death. I’ll withhold my praise of Boehner’s spine of steel until he has proven he has one. He has the power to make sure the contempt of congress order passes…just not sure he has the courage to use it.

    • You took the words, about Boehner’s “apparant” spine, right out of my mouth. Well stated case for “let’s wait and see if its real.”

      As a fellow Texans, I share your concerns about what is probably going on behind the scenes in the Speaker’s office. And your analogy drawn from our own legislature is spot on. That said, the risk should be obvious to any other Texans who are reading that we have another short-term opportunity, next month, to express our dissatisfaction with “the Dew” and his aspirations to go to D.C.

      • I agree. As much as I would love for Dewhurst to move on to another job, it can’t be as U.S. Senator from the great State of Texas. Ted Cruz is a constitutional conservative, and the best man for the job.

    • Boehner took too long to make this decision–unfortunately, he is running unopposed here in OH–if the Repubs maintain control of the House, would they have the guts to elect someone other than “raise the white flag” Boehner, we hope so!

    • I think you all make good points. Perhaps I should have said, “showing a little leg on some backbone.” Backbone is generally formed in the womb and grows through childhood. It’s rare to develop it suddenly at Boehner’s age.

  4. As ineffectual as Boehner is – I dread the thought of either Eric Cantor or Kevin McCarthy stepping into his shoes. What a sorry looking trio of losers!

    • Mark Levin suggested the House members elect Scott Walker as Speaker of the House. There is no requirement for the speaker to be a member of congress so why not? I’d really like to see Sarah Palin get the job if that’s the case. A girl can dream can’t she?

  5. Must have heard three or four different Democratic surrogates today refer to Darrell Issa as a “mall cop” – nice to see they’re all coordinated on their lame talking points.