Fast And Furious Documents
Fast And Furious Documents, A House oversight committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, marking an escalation of the long-running dispute between Republicans and the Justice Department over internal administration documents related to Operation Fast and Furious.The 23-17 vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress came as President Obama on Wednesday morning invoked executive privilege of certain documents related to the controversial botched gun-trafficking sting.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Holder met late Tuesday for about 20 minutes in an unsuccessful, last-minute effort to head off Wednesday’s contempt hearing. Holder told reporters following the meeting that he offered to provide the documents on the condition that Issa give his assurance that doing so would satisfy two committee subpoenas and resolve the dispute.
“Our purpose has never been to hold the attorney general in contempt,” Issa said. “Our purpose has always been to get the information the committee needs to complete its work – that it is not only entitled to, but obligated to do.”
Two weapons traced to the gun operation – which allowed hundreds of firearms from the United States into Mexico – were recovered at the scene of the 2010 murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The agent’s death brought an end to the gun-trafficking operation. The investigation into the operation was spurred after Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, inquired into whistle-blower allegations that the government had allowed the transfer of illegally purchased weapons into Mexico.
Issa wants to see documents that would shed light on internal discussions since February 2011, when the Justice Department sent a letter to Congress denying allegations of “gun-walking.” That letter was later withdrawn by the Justice Department. (USA TODAY)