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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Investigation stems from botched 'Fast and Furious' operation

Charges are being sought against Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It has been revealed to CBS News that the House Oversight Committee will vote next week to proceed with the charges. It's only the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

Attorney general Eric Holder allegedly failed to turn over documents subpoenaed in October of last year in the Fast and Furious 'gun-walking' investigation.

Attorney general Eric Holder allegedly failed to turn over documents subpoenaed in October of last year in the Fast and Furious "gun-walking" investigation.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Eric Holder, contempt, Congress, Darrell issa, Oversight Committee


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Holder allegedly failed to turn over documents subpoenaed in October of last year in the Fast and Furious "gun-walking" investigation. The Justice Department says that it has fully cooperated with the congressional investigation, with the relinquishing of tens of thousands of documents. Holder, in addition has testified to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has reiterated that the Justice Department has refused to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents, which include documents created after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department composed a letter to Congress which declared that no gun-walking occurred. The Justice Department has since retracted the denial.

"The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics," Issa wrote in an announcement. The results of the vote are scheduled for this coming Wednesday, June 20. In the meantime, Issa says the Justice Department can still put a stop to the contempt process immediately by turning over the subpoenaed documents.

Congress' investigation into Fast and Furious is now in its second year.

In the Fast and Furious operation, agents allowed thousands of weapons to "walk" into the hands of Mexican drug cartels in the hope it would somehow help ATF take down a major cartel. This backfired when many of the weapons were used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry at the hands of illegal immigrants crossing into Arizona.

Mexican journalists have reported that hundreds of Mexicans have died at the hands of the trafficked weapons. The story was first exposed by CBS News in February of last year.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee have called the Republicans' move to find Holder in contempt a politically-motivated "witch hunt."

The three previous contempt actions south against an executive branch member began when Congress found EPA administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford in contempt for failing to produce subpoenaed documents in 1983. In addition, the GOP-controlled House Oversight committee found Attorney General Janet Reno in contempt in 1988 for failing to comply with a subpoena on campaign finance law violations. The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee found former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff John Bolton in contempt in 2008 for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into whether a purge of federal prosecutors by the Bush administration was politically motivated.

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