POLITICS

Pelosi: Holder contempt vote about voter suppression, not Fast and Furious

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declared that House Republicans are charging Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress not as part of an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, but in order to weaken his ability to prevent voter suppression.

"They're going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states," Pelosi told reporters during her press briefing today. "This is no accident, it is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of Republicans.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted yesterday to recommend that the full U.S. House of Representatives find Holder in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena that he hand over thousands of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious -- specifically, documents pertaining to the Justice Department's false claim that law enforcement never allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico to drug cartels.

President Obama asserted executive privilege yesterday over the documents subpoenaed, minutes before the committee contempt hearing began. Holder had previously offered to provide some of the documents to congressional investigators if they agreed to end the investigation.

"The only thing extraordinary about his offer is that he is asking the committee to close its investigation before it even receives the documents," committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said during the contempt vote hearing. "I can't accept that deal."

Pelosi denied that Operation Fast and Furious is the real cause of the investigation and contempt charge. "These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote," she said of her congressional colleagues. "It is connected. It's clear as can be. It's not only to monopolize his time, it's to undermine his name."

"These folks want a plutocracy where instead of the choice of the many the checks of the very very few determine the outcomes of elections," she said.

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