POLITICS

Issa plans on contempt vote after Holder reneges

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Attorney General Eric Holder refused to produce the 1,300 pages of documents that he had offered to congressional investigators in order to avoid a contempt vote, and so House Republicans plan to move forward with the vote tomorrow.

“[It] didn’t have to come to this,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., tweeted after meeting with Holder to discuss the documents that DOJ had agreed to hand over to congressional investigators. Holder came to the meeting, but DOJ never delivered the documents to the committee.

“Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents,” Issa said in a statement. “The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation,” he explained.

House and Senate Republicans have been investigating Operation Fast and Furious — a gunwalking scheme in which US officials allowed drug cartels to buy high-powered weapons, some of which were used to murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — since January, 2011.

On February 4th, 2011, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department told Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that law enforcement never used gun-walking tactics. Holder formally withdrew that letter eight months later after it emerged incontrovertibly that the tactics were used and that senior DOJ officials were aware of them.

“At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee,” Issa said today.

The vote is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.

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