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Justice Dept to Issa: Contempt “Unwarranted”

Atty. Gen. Holder on the Hill on Thursday/ttw file photo via C-Span

By TIM MAK
Politico

A top Justice Department official has fired back at Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, telling the Republican congressman that it would be “unwarranted and inappropriate” to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious investigation.

“We believe that a contempt proceeding would be unwarranted given the information the Department has disclosed to the Committee to date; unprecedented given the law enforcement sensitivities at issue; and ill-advised given the damage it would cause to relations between the Executive and Legislative Branches,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole wrote in a 13-page letter to Issa. “We believe that the core questions posed by the Committee about Operation Fast and Furious have been answered.”

Cole expressed concern that Issa may begin contempt proceedings. (Some Republicans have suggested drawing the line at Memorial Day if the department does not fully comply with the subpoena.)

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