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.”

“We Cannot Operate In A Cover-up And Lie Environment” – Darrell Issa

The House leadership including Speaker John Boehner sent a letter yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder “demanding full cooperation with the ongoing investigation into the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation and the death of Border Agent Brian Terry.” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was interviewed about this letter by Ginny Simone of NRA News.

Issa speaks to the issue and to the letter in this interview.

Contempt Citation In The Works

Richard Serrano of the LA Times is reporting that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has been given the green light by the GOP House leadership to pursue a Contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder.

The 48-page draft citation is being drawn up by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Top committee officials recently met for most of a day in the House speaker’s office and were given the green light to proceed toward a contempt citation, according to sources who declined to be identified.

If adopted by the GOP-led House, the contempt resolution would be sent to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington or perhaps an independent counsel in an attempt to force the Justice Department to provide tens of thousands of internal documents to the committee.

According to Serrano’s sources, the draft citation says that Holder “obstructed and slowed” the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

As Katie Pavlich says in her post on this contempt citation, “It’s On.”

I hope they are right as this will be more fun than ridiculing Obama for eating dog.

UPDATE: It seems that CBS and the LA Times might have been a bit premature in their forecast of a contempt citation in the works. Either that, or the Republican leadership has chickened out yet again. If I was a betting man, I’d go with the latter and not the former.

From Matt Boyle at the Daily Caller:

After the initial reports, a House Republican leadership aide told The Daily Caller that the LA Times and CBS reports were inaccurate. The GOP leadership aide said that “while there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action [holding Holder in contempt], no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders.”

Initially, a spokesperson for Issa refused TheDC’s request for comment. But just hours after TheDC published a story detailing the appearance of infighting between Issa and Boehner, a House oversight committee spokesperson backed off and said the LA Times and CBS reports were inaccurate as well.

“The Justice Department has not fully cooperated with the investigation into gunwalking that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious,” the committee spokesperson told TheDC. “The House Oversight Committee continues to make necessary preparations to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt if the Justice Department refuses to change course and stop blocking access to critical documents.”

“While the committee continues to move toward consideration of contempt, it is important to note that the next step in the process of contempt must be made by the Oversight Committee,” the spokesperson added. “Reports, based on anonymous sources, that decisions for consideration of contempt on the House floor have already been made are inaccurate.”

Throw into the midst of this an accusation from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that Darrell Issa has political motivations with the possible contempt proceedings. Of course, coming from the likes of Elijah Cummings who has viewed his role in the hearings as to protect the Obama Administration and to promote more gun control, this is rich.