House Republicans Hold Eric Holder in Contempt, Democrats Walk Out

Partisan fake outrage
Politics • Views: 36,046

To nobody’s surprise, the Republican Party has held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. A large number of House Democrats walked out before the vote in protest.

UPDATE at 6/28/12 1:58:06 pm

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri), leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, gave a statement about the walk-out:

One of the things we are attempting to do is to make sure that at least a group of members of Congress express to the nation that we are non-participants in what we believe to be a calamity.

This is a terrible day for the House of Representatives. What this is about, we can’t decide for sure, but it certainly is not about Eric Holder or holding back documents. And so we did not want to participate in something that we believe has some kind of smell to it.

UPDATE at 6/28/12 2:06:40 pm

Eric Holder released the following statement:

In recent months, the Justice Department has made unprecedented accommodations to respond to information requests by Chairman Issa about misguided law enforcement tactics that began in the previous administration and allowed illegal guns to be taken into Mexico.  Department professionals have spent countless hours compiling and providing thousands of documents — nearly 8,000 — to Chairman Issa and his committee.   My staff has had numerous meetings with congressional staff to try and accommodate these requests and yesterday, I met with Chairman Issa to offer additional internal Department documents and information that would satisfy what he identified as the Committee’s single outstanding question.

Unfortunately, Chairman Issa has rejected all of these efforts to reach a reasonable accommodation.  Instead, he has chosen to use his authority to take an extraordinary, unprecedented and entirely unnecessary action, intended to provoke an avoidable conflict between Congress and the Executive Branch.  This divisive action does not help us fix the problems that led to this operation or previous ones and it does nothing to make any of our law enforcement agents safer.  It’s an election-year tactic intended to distract attention — and, as a result — has deflected critical resources from fulfilling what remains my top priority at the Department of Justice:  Protecting the American people.  

Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue.  From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration.  

I have spent most of my career in law enforcement and worked closely with brave agents who put their lives on the line every day.  I know the sacrifices they make, so as soon as allegations of gunwalking came to my attention – and well before Chairman Issa expressed any interest in this issue — I ordered the practice stopped.  I made necessary personnel changes in the Department’s leadership and instituted policy changes to ensure better oversight of significant investigations.  And, I directed the Department’s Inspector General to open a comprehensive investigation.  That investigation is ongoing, and the American people and Congress can count on it to produce a tough, independent review of the facts.

When Chairman Issa later began his own investigation, I made it clear that the Department would cooperate with all appropriate oversight requests, while still adhering to our legal obligations to protect information involving ongoing law enforcement investigations, legally-protected grand jury material and other sensitive information whose disclosure would endanger the American people or our agents investigating open cases.   

The American people deserve better.  That is why, I will remain focused on, and committed to, the Justice Department’s mission to protect the rights, safety, and best interests of my fellow citizens and to stand by my brave colleagues in law enforcement.

UPDATE at 6/28/12 2:13:49 pm

The White House has also released a statement:

At the beginning of this year, Republicans announced one of their top priorities was to investigate the Administration and to ensure that President Obama was a one-term President. Despite the major economic challenges facing the country, they talked openly about devoting taxpayer-funded, Congressional oversight resources to political purposes.

The problem of gunwalking was a field-driven tactic that dated back to the George W. Bush Administration, and it was this Administration’s Attorney General who ended it. Attorney General Holder has said repeatedly that fighting criminal activity along the Southwest Border – including the illegal trafficking of guns to Mexico has been is a top priority of the Department. Eric Holder has been an excellent Attorney General and just yesterday the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee acknowledged that he had no evidence – or even the suspicion – that the Attorney General knew of the misguided tactics used in this operation.

Yet, Republicans pushed for political theater rather than legitimate Congressional oversight. Over the past fourteen months, the Justice Department accommodated Congressional investigators, producing 7,600 pages of documents, and testifying at eleven Congressional hearings. In an act of good faith, this week the Administration made an additional offer which would have resulted in the Committee getting unprecedented access to documents dispelling any notion of an intent to mislead. But unfortunately, a politically-motivated agenda prevailed and instead of engaging with the President in efforts to create jobs and grow the economy, today we saw the House of Representatives perform a transparently political stunt.

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-09-11 10:11 am PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
Great White Snark
How Iranian General Plotted Out Syrian Assault in Moscow
At a meeting in Moscow in July, a top Iranian general unfurled a map of Syria to explain to his Russian hosts how a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad could be turned into victory - with Russia's ...

1 hour, 19 minutes ago
Views: 59 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Ramin Jalali
Iran: Athletes are forced to peddling on the streets
When the crumbled economic and social situation in Iran is covered in news most of the times the analytic figures do not illustrate the realty. The maladministration rooted in fundamentalist, tyrannical and corrupt structure of this regime during the past ...

4 hours, 50 minutes ago
Views: 88 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: -4
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Gates Foundation Gives New Parents a Year of Paid Leave
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving new parents up to a year of paid parental leave. The foundation's new policy, offering both mothers and fathers up to 52 weeks of paid time off during the first year ...

8 hours, 58 minutes ago
Views: 108 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
New Jersey Among States Considering State-Run IRA Plans
America's retirement statistics are grim: About 40 percent of baby boomers have nothing saved for retirement, about a third of Americans who are currently retired rely on Social Security for almost all of their income, and the outlook for ...

20 hours, 21 minutes ago
Views: 158 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Under the Lake Live Thread
Another Two-Parter this time, it promises to be awesome join me here!

3 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 406 • Comments: 25
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 1
Imagine Donald Trump as a Dystopian Sci-Fi Movie Tyrant ( Video )
Here's a video created by folks at the science and sci fi website io9. Its disturbing because Donald Trump really does sound like he could be Dystopian despot! Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. If you're a ...

5 days, 20 hours ago
Views: 503 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Paul Canning
World’s Main Security Issue Today Is Russian Poisoned Public Opinion
I have posted before about how Americans seem to be unaware just how much Russians are being told to hate them. In this article Andreas Umland, a Kyiv based analyst and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic ...

5 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 579 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 5 • Rating: 1
The Autumn DIY Project
Ok, so September is not exactly New Year, but as the academic term begins and schools go back following the holidays, it does feel like a fresh start. It can be a good time to tackle new projects, so why ...

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 675 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 0