Obama grants Holder request on 'Furious' documents as contempt vote looms

Fox News

6/20/2012

Excerpt:

"President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off a contempt vote against the attorney general by Republicans in the House.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to forge ahead with its meeting on the contempt resolution anyway.

ORIGINAL STORY ...

House Republicans appear to be charging ahead with a high-drama contempt vote against Eric Holder, after GOP Rep. Darrell Issa said the attorney generally failed to produce the documents he requested for the probe into the Justice Department's botched Fast and Furious operation.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Barring a last-minute document dump from Holder, lawmakers are poised to vote on a contempt resolution following debate this morning.

If the vote proceeds, Republicans have more than enough votes on committee to pass the resolution. However, Holder would not be considered to be held in contempt of Congress unless and until the full House approves the measure.

Issa and Holder have been going back and forth since last week over Issa's request for documents. Issa, R-Calif., indicated a willingness to postpone the vote after Holder indicated a willingness to make compromises and supply some documents in response to House Republicans' subpoena.

But Issa told reporters after a roughly 20-minute meeting with Holder Tuesday that the attorney general instead briefed them on the documents in lieu of delivering them.

Issa told Fox News that Holder didn't provide "anything in writing," and said the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry wants the documents as much as he does.

"We want the documents. Brian Terry's family would like the documents that are responsive to how in fact their son was gunned down with weapons that came from lawful dealers but at the ... behest of the Justice Department," Issa told Fox News.

Weapons from the Fast and Furious anti-gunrunning operation were found at Terry's murder scene.

Issa suggested earlier Tuesday that the vote could still be up in the air.

"The deadline will always move to the last minute," said Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "We're not looking to hold people responsible. We're looking for document production."

The failed Fast and Furious operation attempted selling thousands of guns to arms dealers along the U.S.-Mexico border to trace them to leaders of drug cartels. However, many of them showed up in crime scenes.

Congressional investigators have been trying to determine if and when high-level Justice officials knew about problems with the operation."

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