U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder Held in Contempt of Congress
Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney-General was found in contempt of Congress on Thursday over his failure to turn over documents related to a failed gun -running probe – the Fast and Furious scandal.
Congress has never taken such action against a sitting Cabinet official, with the fight over Holder marking a historic day in Washington.
The vote was 255-67, with 17 Democrats voting in support of a criminal contempt resolution, which authorizes Republicans leaders to seek criminal charges against Holder, reported Politico in an article Thursday.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi led many of her colleagues in a walkout from the House floor in protest, as many Democrats refused to cast votes.
In a statement, Holder basted the contempt votes as “politically motivated” and “misguided”.
“Today’s vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided – and politically motivated – investigation during an election year,” Holder said. “By advancing it over the past year and a half, Congressman Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety. Instead of trying to correct the problems that led to a series of flawed law enforcement operations, and instead of helping us find ways to better protect the brave law enforcement officer, like Agent Brian Terry, who keep us safe – they have led us to this unnecessary and unwarranted outcome.”
“Today’s vote may make for good political theater in the minds of some, but it is – at base – both a crass effort and a grave disservice to the American people. They expect – and deserve – far better,” continued Holder.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer issued the following statement:
At the beginning of this year, Republicans announced one of their top priorities was to investigate the Administration and to ensure that President Obama was a one-term President. Despite the major economic challenges facing the country, they talked openly about devoting taxpayer-funded, Congressional oversight resources to political purposes.
The problem of gunwalking was a field-driven tactic that dated back to the George W. Bush Administration, and it was this Administration’s Attorney General who ended it. Attorney General Holder has said repeatedly that fighting criminal activity along the Southwest Border – including the illegal trafficking of guns to Mexico has been is a top priority of the Department. Eric Holder has been an excellent Attorney General and just yesterday the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee acknowledged that he had no evidence – or even the suspicion – that the Attorney General knew of the misguided tactics used in this operation.
Yet, Republicans pushed for political theater rather than legitimate Congressional oversight. Over the past fourteen months, the Justice Department accommodated Congressional investigators, producing 7,600 pages of documents, and testifying at eleven Congressional hearings. In an act of good faith, this week the Administration made an additional offer which would have resulted in the Committee getting unprecedented access to documents dispelling any notion of an intent to mislead. But unfortunately, a politically-motivated agenda prevailed and instead of engaging with the President in efforts to create jobs and grow the economy, today we saw the House of Representatives perform a transparently political stunt.