House Votes to Hold Attorney General Holder in Contempt

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Washington, D.C. June 28,2012-5:45 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder says the vote finding him in contempt of Congress was a politically motivated act in an election year.

Holder says that Rep. Darrell Issa, who leads the House committee investigating a flawed gun-smuggling investigation, and others have focused on politics over public safety.

The attorney general says that when concerns about Operation Fast and Furious first came to light, he took action and ordered an independent investigation into what happened.

That probe by the Justice Department's inspector general is under way.

Holder blames Issa and his supporters for the dispute that led to the contempt vote.

Issa subpoenaed documents and the attorney general says he made an offer to settle the dispute that Issa rebuffed.

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Washington, D.C. June 28,2012-5:30 pm

The House has approved a precedent-setting resolution to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress. It was the first time a sitting Cabinet member has been held in contempt.

A number of Democrats boycotted Thursday's vote.

Republicans pushed through the resolution because Holder did not turn over documents related to a botched gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants Justice Department records from a 10-month period after February 2011. That month, the department initially denied guns were allowed to be purchased in Arizona and be taken to Mexico. In early December that year, the department acknowledged the assertion was wrong.

A separate vote will be held to hold the attorney general in civil contempt.


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