POLITICS

Eric Holder: I have no respect for lawmakers who held me in contempt

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to something that the congressional investigators probing Operation Fast and Furious must have already understood: he has no respect for the legislators who voted to hold him in contempt for refusing to hand over documents about the gun-walking scandal.

I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” Holder told ABC News when asked about the historic contempt vote. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who spearheaded the contempt vote, said that the “arrogantly dismissive” attorney general is emblematic of President Obama’s failure to be a unifying president.

“Attorney General Holder’s admission that he does not respect the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who voted to hold him in contempt offers a window into why Washington is so dysfunctional,” Issa said in a statement. “Finding out why the Justice Department made false denials about Operation Fast and Furious, and only corrected the record after ten months of public pressure, is a legitimate exercise of congressional authority. The Attorney General clearly believes he is above the law and is not accountable to the duly elected representatives of the American people or the institutions of our democracy.”

The House held Holder in contempt after he refused to comply with a subpoena for documents pertaining to Operation Fats and Furious, which saw United States law enforcement willingly allow drug cartels to purchase weapons in the United States and smuggle them to Mexico. The operation ended when U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered by drug dealers armed with Fast and Furious weapons.

“He is asking the committee to close its investigation before it even receives the documents,” Issa said during the contempt vote hearing. “I can’t accept that deal.”

 

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