(Washington Examiner) — House Republicans say they have run out of patience with the Justice Department over its withholding of documents related to the gun walking operation known as Fast and Furious.
The House Oversight and Government reform committee announced Monday that it will vote on a “contempt of Congress” motion against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder “for his failure to produce documents” related to the department’s knowledge of Fast and Furious, which the panel subpoenaed in October.
The announcement ends a brief detente between the two branches over Fast and Furious. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tried to stave off a contempt vote by pressuring the White House directly to turn over thousands of pages of documents, but the Justice Department has not complied.
Aides told The Washington Examiner that the committee’s statement could be a last-ditch effort to get Holder to cough up the documents. The statement includes this line: “If the Attorney General decides to produce these subpoenaed documents, I am confident we can reach agreement on other materials and render the process of contempt unnecessary.”
House Committee and Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa told BuzzFeed today that he expects 31 Democrats will join Congressional Republicans in finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents relating to a botched gun-running investigation.
Issa, who has risen to national prominence as the point of the Republican spear in investigating alleged Obama administration wrongdoing, called for a committee vote on contempt next week in advance of a full House vote on Holder’s conduct in the so-called “Fast and Furious” operation, in which a federal agent was allegedly killed with a gun the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed to be trafficked.
“The real question is, we’re opening up the data that we have to all the members, so as they start reading specifics of what we know was known and was hidden from Congress, and what we’d like to know and been denied, how many of the Democrats will vote with us,” Issa said after speaking at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York. “I expect we’ll have about 31 Democrats with us.”