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Political Bickering Heats Up Over Contempt Vote for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.P

Holder wearing badge and ribbon/aft webpage

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The politicization over ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Attorney General Eric Holder’s response to turning over subpoenaed documents continued to heat up on Monday.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has been leading the charge, says he plans to hold a contempt vote for Holder next week (June 20), saying Holder has been withholding documents for no legit reason.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) weighed in as well, saying:

“The Justice Department is out of excuses. Congress has given Attorney General Holder more than enough time to fully cooperate with its investigation into ‘Fast and Furious…. 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.”

Under Operation Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hope of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels. Problem was, ATF lost track of many of the guns and some surfaced at crime scenes.

But Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, shot back, saying:

“It is unfortunate that the Committee scheduled a contempt vote against the Attorney General when federal law prohibits him from turning over many of the subpoenaed documents, but I am guardedly optimistic that a path forward exists that will serve the legitimate interests of the Committee in conducting rigorous oversight, protect the legitimate interests of the Department in its ongoing investigations and prosecutions, and avoid the needless politicization of this very serious issue.”

The bickering is only expected to get louder.


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