Boom: House votes to hold AG Eric Holder in contempt

posted at 4:51 pm on June 28, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

For the first time ever, the House of Representatives voted Thursday on whether to hold a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress. Republicans brought the vote to the House floor in an effort to force Attorney General Eric Holder to finally face the music for his willful failure to fully comply with a Congressional subpoena of documents relating to Operation Fast & Furious, the not-botched gunwalking scandal that resulted in the death of a U.S. border patrol agent and countless Mexicans — and face the music Holder did. The House voted 255-67 to hold Eric Holder in contempt.

During the pre-vote debate, Minority Leader Pelosi accused the Republicans of playing “heinous,” “frivolous” political games, and even encouraged the members of her party to walk out on the vote: “I’m very moved by the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who say they are going to walk out on this,” she said on the House floor. “Walk out on this. Perhaps that’s the best way. …I urge my colleagues to vote ‘no’ or not vote.” Her oh-so-rousing call to protest, however, didn’t inspire quite the solidarity she was probably looking for: Over 100 Democrats didn’t vote, but at least 17 Democrats defected and joined Republicans in the contempt charge.

Developing…

Update: Yep, looks like 110 members decided not to vote — the CBC explained their reasoning for walking out earlier:

“Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations,” said a letter from the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus to colleagues. “The Republican leadership has articulated no legislative purpose for pursuing this course of action. For these reasons, we cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the attorney general in contempt.”

Regardless, after 18 months of investigating and subsequent stonewalling, this is officially moving forward. Technically, when you’re found in criminal contempt, you’re subject to a hefty fine or even arrest, and your case would go to a DC district court via the Justice Department — but the obvious problem here is that Holder is the head of the DOJ. The House is now getting set to vote on whether to hold Holder in civil contempt, so the Oversight Committee can hire their own lawyers to file a civil lawsuit to prosecute the attorney general. Another update to follow…

Update: Heh. If you missed the House floor debate, BuzzFeed has a nice round-up of the gist of it — good times, good times.

Update: Ughh, of course. Here’s part of the White House‘s all-too-foreseeable response to the contempt vote:

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.

Update: The aye’s have it — the House just followed up on their criminal contempt vote with an affirmative civil contempt vote, which will allow them to hire their own counsel to challenge President Obama’s invocation of executive privilege. Which, as Rep. Trey Gowdy explained in a video this morning, they’re ready and rarin’ to do:

Update: And here’s Attorney General Eric Holder’s response soon after learning that he is now in contempt of Congress. The vote was “reckless,” “politically motivated,” rabble rabble rabble:


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Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

In case you missed it D!ckhead, this is NOT new with Roberts’ ruling. Chr!st you people are stupid.

DevilsPrinciple on June 28, 2012 at 8:07 PM

stupid D!ckhead

Bmore on June 28, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Well imsaidmroberts would screw us last night. Doesn’t matter now we are all screwed. 2 nd the contempt means nothing and holder will be here at tillmobama wins in a landslide this November.

You say why does Obama win in a landslide, well because all Obama will do is say Romney wants to make healthcare more expensive and want to take healthcare away from children. Of course people will fall for this. Don’t try to talk taxes because 48% don’t pay taxes so you are talking to a wall. So go enjoy your life, hide your money.

For me I am not celebrating the 4 th of July like the rest of the mindless robots. There is nothing to celebrate, we are now at 1775 point in our history or 1936 Germany

Conservative4ev on June 28, 2012 at 9:00 PM

How many threads do we already have about the USSC decision today? Is it unreasonable/too much to ask that this one be kept free of discussions about 0bamacare?

Bizarro No. 1 on June 28, 2012 at 9:04 PM

How many threads do we already have about the USSC decision today? Is it unreasonable/too much to ask that this one be kept free of discussions about 0bamacare?
Bizarro No. 1 on June 28, 2012 at 9:04 PM

You are right. I’ve been off topic also. Had so many windows open and various HA threads, I got off track!! I think I posted the Holder contempt vote on one of the SCOTUS related threads…what a day!! Hopefully we’ll get back on the QOTD:-)

bluefox on June 28, 2012 at 9:16 PM

See how stupid that sounds??

LevinFan on June 28, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Calling me Stupid won’t help. Besides, I’m not taking this as seriously as Levin Himself is.

As we say while ascending the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, onward and upward. This decision ticked off a huge number of people who will show their disgust in November.

Del Dolemonte on June 28, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Holder and Obama are complicit in multiple murders and should be brought to justice. These black racist killers might as well wear NBPP gear and recite the coran at press conferences.

frizzbee on June 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Holder and Obama are complicit in multiple murders and should be brought to justice. These black racist killers might as well wear NBPP gear and recite the coran at press conferences.

frizzbee on June 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Not likely, short of someone adding something harmful to their KFC orders. Which is also not likely because he is, you know, the POTUS. And as such has security out the yin-yang.

MelonCollie on June 28, 2012 at 10:48 PM

This makes me feel better.

gophergirl on June 28, 2012 at 5:08 PM

C’mon girl, this day keeps getting better and better.

Sure it was 17 instead of 31 cross over votes. But you can’t have everything.

When people figure out what Roberts really did, lefty’s will need some Depends. And have to pay taxes on them.

cozmo on June 28, 2012 at 5:17 PM

…I’m pissed! Didn’t have time for the news or threads today, and now that I do heads going to explode.

KOOLAID2 on June 28, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Did the phrase “racist honkies” make its way into Eric the Red Holder’s response?

viking01 on June 29, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Wow, John Boehner was really brave pulling that one off ON THE SAME DAY AS THE OBAMCARE RULING.
/s

Mr Galt on June 29, 2012 at 12:22 AM

HOLDER=JAIL

TX-96 on June 29, 2012 at 5:52 AM

hmmm .. 67 Fleebaggers? That’s like, only 2 bus-loads .. ? Meh.
/.

CaveatEmpty on June 29, 2012 at 8:43 AM

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.

The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.

The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.

J_Crater on June 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

In Fast and Furious, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed assault guns bought by “straw purchasers” to “walk,” which meant ending surveillance on weapons suspected to be en route to Mexican drug cartels.

The tactic, which was intended to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes, was condemned after two guns that were part of the operation were found at U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder scene.

J_Crater on June 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

“Contempt power should be used sparingly, carefully and only in the most egregious situations,” said a letter from the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus to colleagues. “The Republican leadership has articulated no legislative purpose for pursuing this course of action. For these reasons, we cannot and will not participate in a vote to hold the attorney general in contempt.”

In other words, “We will not hold a black man responsible for his crimes, ever”.

Big John on June 30, 2012 at 4:54 AM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5