CBS: House Oversight to vote on contempt charges against Holder

posted at 9:21 am on June 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

House Oversight chair Darrell Issa will bring contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder up for a vote on the committee next week, reports Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, a result of months-long frustrations over stonewalling and deception from the Department of Justice in the probe of Operation Fast and Furious.  Issa is aiming at Wednesday, June 20th as the day for the vote:

CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” investigation.

The Justice Department has maintained it has cooperated fully with the congressional investigation, turning over tens of thousands of documents and having Holder testify to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

The question will be whether Issa can get any of the Oversight Democrats to vote along with him.  Some Democrats in Congress have grumbled about Holder and the pattern of obfuscation and stonewalling in this investigation.  Hundreds of people in Mexico have died from the release of these weapons, after all, and at least two US law-enforcement officers have been killed with those weapons.  More will undoubtedly follow on both sides of the border.  That puts some pressure on Democrats to be seen as taking some kind of action, but a contempt charge may be too far for most of them, if not all.

Still, it’s difficult to see what other option Issa has at this point.  Holder has made it clear that he won’t cooperate, and has taken to bald-faced lies in Congress.  Last week’s insistence that an e-mail that discussed Fast and Furious didn’t actually refer to OF&F was the final straw for Holder’s credibility as a witness and as the nation’s top law-enforcement officer.  The sheer absurdity of that performance might make it impossible for some Democrats to avoid a yes vote on a contempt charge — if not on the Oversight Committee, then on the House floor once the committee passes the resolution.


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I’m looking forward to a real Summer of Recovery next year after getting rid of Holder AND his boss.

HiJack on June 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM

If this resolution passes with only a party-line vote in the Committee, I do not think Boehner should bring it to the House floor. Republicans should instead use it to beat the Democrats over the head.

Besides, Issa has a whistleblower now and is getting the documents he wants, in a far more damaging fashion that getting them via a subpoena or contempt citation.

rockmom on June 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Good points. Putting the spotlight on Holder from now ’til November is key.

petefrt on June 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Eric Holder is an accessory to murder, and should be impeached.

It would be amazing to see Romney pick up this ball and run with it.

Tom Servo on June 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM

The Democrats will be good little soldiers and follow the orders they receive from up top. I doubt a single one of them has the intestinal fortitude to vote their conscious. They’ll vote for their future in the Democratic Party. Not for what’s right for their country or their constituents.

ButterflyDragon on June 11, 2012 at 9:42 AM

If the Dems circle the wagons and don’t get on board with holding Holder in contempt then the public will see, yet again what corrupt hacks the Democrat party is made of. While it is true that the MSM will also circle the wagons and probably either not report on this or give it minimal coverage, they too will be exposed as being totally in the tank for this administration. If even a few Dems (especially those up for election soon) decide to vote with the Republicans then that will be something the right can build on to expose the corruption of this administration. To my mind it’s a win-win. The only fault I have is that Issa waited so long.

neyney on June 11, 2012 at 10:46 AM

O’Bumble will stand by Steadman to the bitter end. And that’s just fine by me.

Travis Bickle on June 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

As a practical matter, so what if they do find Holder in contempt?

They can either put him in jail for the remainder of this session, which the press will spin as “outrageous, extreme republicans acting partisan”, as the press hasn’t really covered this story anyway, and congress still won’t get the docs.

Or, they can refer the matter to the US Attorney for DC who – being an Obama appointee – likely will do little with it, and even if he did, the maximum penalty is 12 months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

I’m sure Holder would rather that then have the truth come out. Hell, it is politically preferable for Holder to fall on his sword thus. Obama and the press will play it up and demonize republicans for “going on a witch hunt”.

I just don’t see a very good end game here for us at this point.

Monkeytoe on June 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Good luck Issa! Does boehner have to go along with this also? He doesn’t seem too keen on bringing contempt charges against holder from what I have read?
L

letget on June 11, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Who believes everything they read?

I say there is as much of a chance that Issa doesn’t know that he has Boehner’s full approval here as there is that Rand Paul didn’t have his dad’s when he endorsed Mitt last week…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM

I couldn’t disagree more with those who are suggesting that this contempt motion be prevented by Boehner from going to a full House vote. THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL GAME. A border agent is dead. Hundreds of Mexican citizens are dead. This is about protecting the Constitution, not scoring political points. Eric holder is an anti-Constitutional monster in more ways than one and he has to be held accountable for his actions as expeditiously as possible.

Reggie1971 on June 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

So voting on contempt charges against rove is fine but since its holder its racist and an election year ploy

I can hear it now

cmsinaz on June 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

But he said he had “superior knowledge” and that e-mail that discussed OF&F was really about another operation! Shouldn’t we take him at his word? After all, he has two of his employees out there investigating the Department. ;0

Seriously, I’m curious how the Dems and Reps are going to paint the passage of contempt on a straight party-line vote. How do Dems defend against the idea that they are abetting in cover-ups for the DOJ with all those deaths and a clear paper trail to the top levels of the DOJ? How does the GOP keep this from appearing election year partisanship?

Happy Nomad on June 11, 2012 at 9:36 AM

I don’t believe this is going to be a vote upon Party lines, which would make this much more interesting/fun, wouldn’t it? :)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Hundreds of dead Hispanics and no concern from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus?

Perhaps Hispanics should play the race card on Democrats who don’t support contempt.

This needs to be repeated over and over. And please change the names of both of these:

Congressional Hypocritical Hispanic Caucus
Congressional Hypocritical Black Caucus

Much the same as the education system is “all about the children.”

sdbatboy on June 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The Attorney General is appointed by the President but is approved by Congress. If Congress brings contempt charges against him, it is the first step toward an impeachment. This is a rare and rather spectacular step.

JoseQuinones on June 11, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Which also explains why Issa has been doing this at a pace that some have misunderstood – I think he’s been handling the situation well overall.

Bizarro No. 1 on June 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Aye.

Knott Buyinit on June 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Not holding my breath that this will ever get off the ground. Aren’t they all about to leave for recess?

sdbatboy on June 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Issa moved faster than I thought. On with Greta on FOX Thursday night he said he wanted to set a contempt date before they break for the 4th of July. Boehner’s office just released a statement saying the DOJ is out of excuses and that Congress is on board in proceeding with the contempt charge. I also read that Holder wanted to meet with Boehner to give him more info on F&F–well duh, just produce the documents requested and no other meetings are needed.

stukinIL4now on June 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Now, does Obama have Holder’s back? Who really knows! Obama can actually protect Holder against any potential punishment. But Obama is only about Obama. He may just throw Holder under the bus unless it would cause more harm to him.

Voter from WA State on June 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I don’t think Obama can afford to throw Holder under the bus. If Obama was involved in F&F, then Holder is the only thing between Obama and the pitchforks.

The Rogue Tomato on June 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Boehner responds!

House moving to hold Holder in contempt
June 11 2012
*************

“The Justice Department is out of excuses,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement Monday morning. “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.”
(More….)
==========

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/11/house-moves-hold-holder-contempt/

canopfor on June 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I don’t Issa would have gone this far without making sure Boehner was onboard. It carries the potential of year in prison. Don’t think you go very far without knowing you have plenty of support.

Yep! Issa’s no dummy.

Now, does Obama have Holder’s back? Who really knows! Obama can actually protect Holder against any potential punishment. But Obama is only about Obama. He may just throw Holder under the bus unless it would cause more harm to him.

Voter from WA State on June 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Unless Holder’s willing to be the fall guy (or, if you will, fall meerkat, as carbon_footprint once nicely pointed out!), 0bamessiah cannot afford to thrown Holder-meerkat under the bus because he’ll take Him right along for the ride!

Bizarro No. 1 on June 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Axlerod, the political adviser has begun backpedaling away from Holder. Seems Oversight Dems should follow his signal if they want to maintain credibility and their jobs when this eventually blows up, as it will.

exdeadhead on June 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

If you are a Dem representative you have to ask yourself: will Obama go to the mat for this guy? And… does crossing Obama increase or decrease my chances of re-election, or have no effect?

Really if you look at Booker what do you think the outcome of his views have done to his political career? He has turned into the canary in the coal mine for Democrats. If he suffers badly for crossing Obama then you might suffer the same… if he suffers little to nothing, which is what appears to be the case, then why not? You can make like you actually stand for something! And if you think Obama is going down in NOV, then do you really want to hitch your wagon to a falling star that is burning out?

You have got to be very far at the bottom of the Democratic tank to not see that there are upsides to looking to pin Holder down, and very few downsides. Really? What is the worst that Obama can do? CAMPAIGN FOR YOU?

ajacksonian on June 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Issa has been doing this at a pace that some have misunderstood
Bizarro No. 1 on June 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I would have to count myself among those that did not understand what appeared to be a snail’s pace on this. It’s been frustrating, but I always tried to believe Issa knew what he was doing. And now, with the fact that this is coming on the heels of the investigation into the security leaks, I’m seeing a lovely double whammy in the optics department.

lynncgb on June 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

BTW, is Holder offended?

lynncgb on June 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Del, tell us again what cr666 used to say about this!

CurtZHP on June 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM

“The Justice Department is out of excuses,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement Monday morning. “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.”

What choice does the House have at this point? The AG himself put himself in this position. There are TWO dead federal agents and well over 200 dead Mexicans and a whole lot of smoke surrounding this operation. The AG is in deep trouble and it is trouble of his own making. By the way, where the heck is Kevin O’Reilly???

ted c on June 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

What is the worst that Obama can do? CAMPAIGN FOR YOU?

ajacksonian on June 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Made me laugh.

Saw your comment and thought I could tell you while you’re around, that I always enjoy your posts.

lynncgb on June 11, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Fast & Furious? Fast & Furious?

Ohhhh – you mean THAT Fast & Furious — ohhh OK.

Really Holder, I know you think we’re all a bunch of effing idiots, but it’s a little late to be pulling out the William Jefferson Clinton Memorial “depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is” card, don’t you think?

I’m sure there’s a little more room under the O’Butthead bus for you, Eric, you contemptible little incompetent, racist weasel.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on June 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

The House should impeach Holder. If overseeing a program that put thousands of guns and other dangerous weapons into the hands of vicious Mexican drug cartels isn’t a “high crime,” then what the hell is?

Holder has never yet articulated a single legitimate purpose for this idiotic program. It’s obvious the real purpose was to have more U.S. weapons showing up at Mexican crime scenes so that the administration could use that fact to enact stricter gun control laws in the U.S. Holder sacrificed the lives of two American LE agents, hundreds of Mexicans, and risked the lives of thousands of Americans living near the SW border, all so that he could advance his anti-gun political agenda.

Impeach him, now. If the Senate doesn’t want to convict, then at least force the individual Senators to go on record with their vote.

AZCoyote on June 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Oh come on people. The Democrats will tie this “witch hunt” of Holder to his aggressive actions against the voter ID laws and other forms of “voter suppression.” They will use all of this to gin up black turnout in November. And they will insist that Romney take a stand on a contempt charge of the nation’s first black Attorney General.

rockmom on June 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Still, it’s difficult to see what other option Issa has at this point. Holder has made it clear that he won’t cooperate, and has taken to bald-faced lies in Congress.

..unfortunately for the American and Mexican public, a contempt charge and conviction is symbolic only. Zero would have to take action for anything to happen to Holder while he is in office.

TX-96 on June 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Oh come on people. The Democrats will tie this “witch hunt” of Holder to his aggressive actions against the voter ID laws and other forms of “voter suppression.” They will use all of this to gin up black turnout in November. And they will insist that Romney take a stand on a contempt charge of the nation’s first black Attorney General.

rockmom on June 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

That may be true, but I haven’t been able to get this tweet that was sent by Katie Pavlich, who was sitting next to Terry family during Thursday’s hearing, out of my mind.

@KatiePavlich From Brian Terry’s sister Kelly, please RT: “Can you yell out loud that we are waiting for answers!”

Holder’s stonewalling and the political games have gone on long enough. The families of Brian Terry and Jamie Zapata deserve action.

Flora Duh on June 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I’m glad that Issa is holding the line on conducting his business thoroughly. I don’t think a contempt charge will end up going anywhere, but it’s a decent feint if nothing else.

Freelancer on June 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Any Democrat who votes against contempt is thereby complicit in Holder’s pattern of obfuscation and deceit.

Names should be taken and retribution extracted in November.

Mr. Grump on June 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM

According to a DOJ representative, “contempt vote” doesn’t really mean “Contempt of Congress.”

J_Crater on June 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM

So voting on contempt charges against rove is fine but since its holder its racist and an election year ploy

I can hear it now

cmsinaz on June 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Yep, but refusing to fully cooperate with Congress into the investigation how guns were criminally supplied to Mexican drug cartels and then used in the murders of hundreds of “brown-skinned” Mexicans, a “brown-skinned” Federal agent, and a “white-whitey man” agent isn’t racist in the least, little bit.

Not.
.
.
One.
.
.
Little.
.
.
Bit.

Resist We Much on June 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The AG is in deep trouble and it is trouble of his own making. By the way, where the heck is Kevin O’Reilly???

ted c on June 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Holder: ” “ted c, The IG that I appointed is looking into that matter and at some point in the future I will probably have more answers. My staff has went over hundreds of thousands of documents.”

arnold ziffel on June 11, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Eric Holder and his criminal operatives in his office and the Department of Justice need to be dragged out in handcuffs, jailed with no bail and put on trial with a jury of American citizens who are not federal government employees.

He allows them work permits, access to our services and when apprehended by law enforcement refuses to have them jailed or deported.

Barack Hussein Obama has crossed the line, and under Article III, Section 3 of our Constitution is guilty of treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy and attempting to overthrow our government from within.

Capt-Dax on June 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM

O’Bumble will stand by Steadman to the bitter end. And that’s just fine by me.

Travis Bickle on June 11, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I favor a bitter end for them both.

Brendon Carr on June 11, 2012 at 12:57 PM

demonRats are, by their very nature, arrogant, morally corrupt and blind to the actions of one of their own. I wouldn’t expect many yes votes from them.

MisterElephant on June 11, 2012 at 1:05 PM

This program ran across at least four cabinet level departments. Only one person has the authority to order that cooperation across cabinet level departments.

The scumbag responsible for running this travesty out of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, has a checkered history in the BATFE. he is roundly despised by many field agents, who don’t believe he has their backs. Just ask Jay Dobyns.

Newell has admitted informing White House NSA staffer Kevin O’Reilly regarding Fast & Furious. But O’Reilly has been transferred to the State Department and transferred to Iraq, beyond the reach of a Congressional subpoena. Obama’s White House refuses to permit any interviews with O’Reilly.

There is only one reason Holder and Obama are taking the risks involved in completely stonewalling a Congressional investigation. The blood trail runs through Holder’s office to the Oval Office. The blood of innocent Mexicans and American law enforcement officers is on Holder’s hands, and Obama’s hands. More blood will inevitably be spilled as a direct result of this monstrous criminal conspiracy.

They can’t afford to do anything but stonewall. The truth is the end, for both of them.

novaculus on June 11, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Holder and Obama are complicit in the murder of Terry, Zapata and hundreds of Mexican citizens. Both should be wearing prison orange.

jqc1970 on June 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Holder will get real busy with fast and furious charges of his own. He will try to create a distraction. The Florida registered voger distraction is not enough to cover the headlines.

seven on June 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

They can’t afford to do anything but stonewall. The truth is the end, for both of them.

novaculus on June 11, 2012 at 1:15 P

With a compliant media and gutless Republicans not wanting to make waves before November, I simply can’t agree with you on this, however much I hope you are right.

SKYFOX on June 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Unfortunately, OBOZO’s imbecile AG (and Black Panther Party supporter and defender) holder is BENEATH CONTEMPT.

For willfully failing to protect and secure America’s borders and for authorizing the most stupid and ill-conceived operation in American history, Fast and Furious, “the system worked” wrong-way napolitano, “You Lie!” hussein and imbecile AG holder should all be charged as accomplices to murder in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

holder’s Department of IN-Justice has become a sham of a joke of a travesty of a parody of a farce of a law-respecting and law-enforcing organization. It’s time for the total failure, racist, incompetent joke and disgrace to America known as “holder” to be fired or impeached. And, if the DOJ continues to not do the proper job, IT MUST BE DE-FUNDED.

TeaPartyNation on June 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

But O’Reilly has been transferred to the State Department and transferred to Iraq, beyond the reach of a Congressional subpoena. Obama’s White House refuses to permit any interviews with O’Reilly.

They should subpoena is arse anyway and demand he be made available. If State and the White House refuse take it to the courts.

chemman on June 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM

I fear this. It will cause the media to instantly turn on Issa and the Republicans in Congress, and play the race card. No doubt that Elijah Cummings will encourage that. It will distract from the Romney campaign’s focus on the economy too.

If this resolution passes with only a party-line vote in the Committee, I do not think Boehner should bring it to the House floor. Republicans should instead use it to beat the Democrats over the head.

Besides, Issa has a whistleblower now and is getting the documents he wants, in a far more damaging fashion that getting them via a subpoena or contempt citation.

rockmom on June 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM


Think more strategically

The Race card is going to get played over and over; more and more as things go worse for the Obama campaign. There is no way to avoid it happening – so it is far better to pick the circumstances WHEN the race card will be thrown down.

Democrats who want to think they can skate away “Fast and Furious” had better be representing 50%+ African American constituents.

If they represent 25% African American constituents with any other mix of diversity, they Race card does not get them the votes they need for re-election. The Race card in those districts gets trumped by the Second Amendment card.

If the resolution passes the House with ONLY Republican votes – the ONLY Democrats who would not face the loss of their seats would be those from ultra-liberal and 50%+ African American districts and those two overlap. So much for Democrats taking back the House.

IF the Oversight Committee finds Holder in contempt, I think the Democratic leadership will tell Obama, “If you don’t fire/resign him, we ARE going to vote to hold him in contempt.”

The SCOAMF will have a classic lose/lose situation.

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

IF the Oversight Committee finds Holder in contempt, I think the Democratic leadership will tell Obama, “If you don’t fire/resign him, we ARE going to vote to hold him in contempt.”

The SCOAMF will have a classic lose/lose situation.

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

IMO, the only way that would work would be if Issa agreed that firing/resigning Holder would result in dropping the investigation of F&F because getting rid of Holder “solved” the problem. I don’t see how Issa could do that, because it doesn’t solve the problem.

The Rogue Tomato on June 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Little Bammie can’t fire the idiot Holder, because Holder knows that Fast and Furious went higher than himself, probably to little Bammie and the hideous Valerie Jarrett. If he is fired they lose control of him.

Holder should not go fishing, walking in any DC parks, and above all stay out of Chicago.

slickwillie2001 on June 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM

IMO, the only way that would work would be if Issa agreed that firing/resigning Holder would result in dropping the investigation of F&F because getting rid of Holder “solved” the problem. I don’t see how Issa could do that, because it doesn’t solve the problem.

The Rogue Tomato on June 11, 2012 at 2:08 PM

.

Little Bammie can’t fire the idiot Holder, because Holder knows that Fast and Furious went higher than himself, probably to little Bammie and the hideous Valerie Jarrett. If he is fired they lose control of him.

Holder should not go fishing, walking in any DC parks, and above all stay out of Chicago.

slickwillie2001 on June 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM


You are both right …

And the last thing in the world WE want is for Eric Holder to resign/be fired.

Instead, we get the optimal path forward:

AG Holder is found in contempt of Congress on a BIPARTISAN basis.

OR

AG Holder, the Democrats and the Obama campaign play the Race card because only Republicans care about murder, gunwalking and America providing thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels which killed thousands of Mexican citizens.

Holder becomes the stinky albatross hung around the neck of the Obama campaign they can not escape. He can’t resign/be fired BECAUSE Issa has a mole and WHO in their right mind would be willing to replace Holder so they could go tap dancing through a COVER UP minefield?

Issa, of course, does not let up.

The LSM will have to focus on “Fast and Furious” if they try to support the Race card.

This has sooooooo many levels of pain to be played out for the SCOAMF.

PolAgnostic on June 11, 2012 at 2:53 PM

when/if obambi debates Romney

Romney needs to counterpunch with fast and furious

the main stream media refuses to cover it
they won’t have a choice live at the debate

audiotom on June 11, 2012 at 5:33 PM

ment to mention
when Obama brings up imigration
romney counterpunches with F&F

audiotom on June 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

When I googled contempt of court federal penalties, I got this site. The first sponsored link is Mitt Romney for President. Romney’s campaign is continuing to impress me.

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6829920_penalty-contempt-district-court.html

Romney should also point out Obama and Holder’s contribution to the wholesale slaughter of Mexicans to Latino voters.

talkingpoints on June 11, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Send Dick Holder to Guantanomo – I hear on good authority it’s an America-hater’s utopia! He’ll fit right in!

Sweet_Thang on June 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM

This circus with the AG will go on and on and when Obama leaves office he will pardon him of all charges. A Country of laws, what a joke. This is like watching the rerun of a movie expecting the end to be different this time.

mixplix on June 12, 2012 at 7:18 AM

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