House Republican Leadership Schedule Contempt Vote

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) released a statement yesterday that the vote on the contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder will be held next week. The resolution to find Holder in contempt has been amended to reflect the claim of executive privilege and may be amended more before the final vote.

“Despite being given multiple opportunities to provide the documents necessary for Congress’ investigation into Fast and Furious, Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall. Today, the Administration took the extraordinary step of exerting executive privilege over documents that the Attorney General had already agreed to provide to Congress. Fast and Furious was a reckless operation that led to the death of an American border agent, and the American people deserve to know the facts to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the Attorney General reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week. If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue.”

Are Republican Leaders Finally Getting Off The Stick?

It looks like the House Republican leadership is finally getting off the stick with regard to Project Gunwalker and a contempt of Congress citation for Attorney General Eric Holder. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor just issued a statement regarding the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s plan to take up consideration of a contempt citation.

“As Attorney General Holder has acknowledged, ‘Fast and Furious’ was a fundamentally flawed operation. Despite repeated opportunities, the Department of Justice has refused to cooperate with the requests made by Congress for information surrounding the operation. Congress can no longer wait. Assuming Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall, we will have no choice but to hold him in contempt for his failure to provide the documents necessary to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again. I thank Chairman Issa and the Oversight Committee for their dedication and vigilance on this issue.”

It surely is not as strong a statement as I and many others would like but it is a start.

UPDATE: I see that Speaker John Boehner has also released a statement in support of contempt for Eric Holder. While it like that of Cantor is rather tepid, it is a bit more than the earlier letter sent by the House leadership.

“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,’ and to help uncover the circumstances regarding the death of Border Agent Brian Terry. Agent Terry’s family, the whistleblowers who brought this issue to light, and the American people deserve answers. 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.”

It is obvious that Holder’s testimony last week before the House Judiciary Committee did him no favors and has increased the pressure on him to comply with the Oversight Committee.