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Published On: Thu, Jun 21st, 2012

Contempt case against Eric Holder moving forward, negotiations still possible

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress despite a last-minute intervention by President Obama.

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By a vote of 23 to 17 after nearly six hours of tense discussion, the bipartisan committee voted for contempt over the Justice Department’s decision to withhold documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that were subpoenaed by the committee in their investigation of the failed gunwalking operation.

The votes were sharply divided along partisan lines with all Republicans voting for and all Democrats voting against contempt.

The measure now moves to the full House for a vote.

Moments before the hearing, Holder, who was not present for the committee vote, delivered a letter to Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) informing the committee that Obama exerted executive privilege to withhold the documents in question.

“Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote in a letter to Issa.

AP reports Holder’s response from Copenhagen, Denmark. The Attorney General is overseas for meetings with European Union officials, said the administration had given the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee a proposal to negotiate an end to the conflict.

“I think the possibility still exists that it can happen in that way,” Holder said. “The proposal that we have made is still there. The House, I think, the House leadership, has to consider now what they will do, so we’ll see how it works out.”

But he called the contempt vote “unwarranted, unnecessary and unprecedented.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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