Updated 06/20/2012 08:34 PM
House committee finds AG Holder in contempt of Congress
In a rare move, a House committee voted to hold the U.S. Attorney General in contempt of Congress. YNN's Washington bureau reporter Erin Billups has more on the extraordinary charge.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With a vote of 23 to 17...
"The ayes have it and a contempt report is ordered. Reported to the House," said House Oversight committee Chair Darrell Issa.
…The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform advanced a resolution Wednesday to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding sensitive documents surrounding the so-called "Operation Fast and Furious" scandal.
Throughout the five hour hearing, lawmakers clearly chose sides along party lines. Republicans evoking the name of border patrol agent Brian Terry who was killed by guns tied to the secret gun-running program.
"The lack of transparency with respect to a dead border patrol agent is sickening. And this morning’s threat of asserting executive privilege to maintain the veil of secrecy is even more sickening," Representative Ann Marie Buerkle said.
Republicans were outraged with the Obama Administration's decision to step in and assert executive privilege, which blocks Congress from having access to the sought after "Fast and Furious" documents. This, after committee leaders failed to reach an agreement with Holder Tuesday night.
"We made what I thought was an extraordinary offer," Holder said.
As republicans accused the AG and President of a cover-up, Democrats stood firmly in support of Holder and the Administration, calling the attack an election year witch hunt.
"The AG is being attacked for protecting documents that he is prohibited by law from producing,” Representative Carolyn Maloney said.
"I think we do have to respect the separation of powers here. This whole idea, everybody's saying 'oh what's he hiding?' Well I don't think he's hiding a damn thing," House Oversight Committee Ranker Elijah Cummings said.
Now it's up to the full House to decide whether to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress.