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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Votes Eric Holder In Contempt Of Congress

By Susan Duclos

Quick catchup: Yesterday after House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Attorney General Eric Holder failed to come to an understanding about documents the Oversight Committee had issued a subpoena to Holder to obtain and Holder refused to produce , Holder then requested Barack Obama assert Executive Privilege to forestall Holder being held in Contempt of Congress for refusing to produce the documents which are part of the Oversight Committee's investigation into the failed gun running operation.

 Obama complied, granted the request, and sent a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asserting Executive Privilege for information that the Obama administration previously claimed they had no knowledge of.

 Letter from Holder to Obama requesting Executive Privilege be asserted, embedded HERE.

 Letter from Obama administration asserting Executive Privilege, found HERE.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted and by a vote of 23 to 17, has found Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, in contempt of Congress and now heads to the full House of Representatives to be approved.

More from ABC News:

Terry family attorney Pat McGroder on Wednesday released the following statement from Terry’s parents Josephine Terry and Kent Terry Sr.: “Attorney General Eric Holder’s refusal to fully disclose the documents associated with Operation Fast and Furious and President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege serves to compound this tragedy. It denies the Terry family and the American people the truth.”

The Terrys said that their son “was killed by members of a Mexican drug cartel armed with weapons from this failed Justice Department gun trafficking investigation. For more than 18 months we have been asking our federal government for justice and accountability. The documents sought by the House Oversight Committee and associated with Operation Fast and Furious should be produced and turned over to the committee. Our son lost his life protecting this nation, and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious.”

Earlier today, Josephine Terry was on Philadelphia Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

Asked about the president’s assertion, she said, “The only thing I can say is, if he did that they apparently don’t want Issa to get the documents to see what’s in there.” 
“My son and I were very, very close,” she continued. “And my son was a person that believed in justice and he believed in telling the truth. He was a man of his honor. And if anybody knew him, they knew that. And I know he would be saying ‘you know what, I died for my country.’ He was a true American and I think he deserves the truth and I think everybody should know the truth. And if this was a bad thing they did with Fast and Furious it should be acknowledged so it never happens to anybody else’s son.”

A gun from the Fast and Furious operation was found at the scene of Brian Terry's murder.

Despite continuous denials from the Obama administration, the issuing of the Executive Privilege order has now brought to light questions of whether the administration knew more than they originally admitted to or what they are hiding and trying to cover up.

Despite claims that this is a Republican "witch hunt", as of May 2012, 127 House members have demanded Holder be fired or resign, this includes 31 Democrats.

[Update] Full House vote scheduled for next week to approve holding AG Holder in Contempt of Congress.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) issued the following statement after the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee approved a resolution holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his refusal to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the Fast & Furious operation:

 “Despite being given multiple opportunities to provide the documents necessary for Congress’ investigation into Fast and Furious, Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall. Today, the Administration took the extraordinary step of exerting executive privilege over documents that the Attorney General had already agreed to provide to Congress. Fast and Furious was a reckless operation that led to the death of an American border agent, and the American people deserve to know the facts to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the Attorney General reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week. If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue.”