No deal: After meeting, Issa says contempt vote on Holder is still on

Issa wants extensive documents, Holder’s offering a few documents plus, er, a briefing. If he doesn’t change his tune by 10 a.m. tomorrow, the contempt vote is happening.

This is some game of chicken they’re playing here.

The announcement Tuesday night by committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., followed a closed-door meeting at the Capitol between Issa and other Republican and Democratic lawmakers with Holder at the U.S. Capitol. Issa described himself as disappointed and still hoping for a breakthrough…

Holder, speaking in the Capitol Rotunda to reporters, said he had come “in good faith” and that he had made a number of documents, specifically those from February to December of 2011, available.

Asked if he thought he and his department could avoid the contempt vote, Holder said, “The ball’s in their court.”

But Issa said, “Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation.”

Remember, Boehner’s reportedly not thrilled with the idea of F&F hearings sucking up lots of political oxygen during the campaign. That’s what Holder’s counting on, I assume — that Issa will either find some excuse at the last minute to avert the contempt vote at the committee level or that, if the committee does vote, Boehner will somehow bury the contempt recommendation before it comes before the full House for a vote. (Follow the last link and you’ll see that even if the House votes to hold Holder in contempt, there’s always a chance that they’ll reach a deal on the documents with the DOJ before the inevitable court battle occurs.)

Remind me again why Boehner’s worried about this investigation blowing up. The media covers it sparingly and with the greatest reluctance for obvious partisan reasons, so it’s not as if Romney’s daily stump speeches about the economy will be bumped off cable news. At best, it’s a signal to voters about serious transparency problems at the DOJ over a deadly serious scandal. At worst, it’s something that the media continues to ignoring because it’s potentially too damaging to their boyfriend. It’s not as if the House is busy with other matters right now either. I don’t quite get it.

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