CNN is reporting that the United States House of Representatives will vote Thursday to cite U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress. The vote would be the first time in history such action has been taken.
From the article:
The House Oversight Committee recommended the vote against Attorney General Eric Holder last week after he refused to hand over all of the requested documents in its investigation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ controversial Fast and Furious gun-running sting.
The vote came after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over some documents sought by the panel. The White House move means the Department of Justice can withhold some of the documents.
House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said Sunday that Obama’s invocation of executive privilege is either “over broad, or simply wrong.”
“We’re past that part of the discovery, relative to contempt,” Issa, R-California, told ABC’s “This Week.” “We know that there’s a lot of wrong things and we want to fix it. What we’re talking about now, when we get lied to, when the American people get lied to, there can’t be oversight when there’s lying.”
“The Supreme Court held pretty clearly there cannot be executive privilege over a criminal cover-up,” he said. “Lying to Congress is a crime. We have every right to see documents to say, ‘Did you know?’ ‘What did you know?’ including even the president.”
CNN notes that Issa said last week he was surprised by Obama’s action and questioned whether the White House’s role in Fast and Furious “has been greater than previously acknowledged.”
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN he previously traced the program only up to the level of an assistant attorney general.
“Now it raises the question of what does the president know and when did he know it by the claim of executive privilege,” said Grassley, who participated in last week’s meeting.