Aamer Madhani and Susan Davis
June 20, 2012
A House oversight committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, marking an escalation of the long-running dispute between Republicans and the Justice Department over internal administration documents related to Operation Fast and Furious.
The 23-17 vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress came as President Obama on Wednesday morning invoked executive privilege of certain documents related to the controversial botched gun-trafficking sting.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Holder met late Tuesday for about 20 minutes in an unsuccessful, last-minute effort to head off Wednesday’s contempt hearing. Holder told reporters following the meeting that he offered to provide the documents on the condition that Issa give his assurance that doing so would satisfy two committee subpoenas and resolve the dispute.