As Robert noted, Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has announced that the committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents related to the ongoing investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF “gunwalking” scandal that resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010. The documents were subpoenaed in October 2011. If the committee votes affirmatively on June 20, a vote of the full House will be scheduled.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), who, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, has spearheaded the investigation into Fast and Furious from the Senate side, said in a statement:
This action is straightforward and necessary. Contempt is the only tool Congress has to enforce a subpoena. The Department of Justice can avoid the action by complying with its legal obligation. It’s not about personalities. It’s a procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. If Congress is afraid to pursue answers to questions, it’s not doing its job. People deserve transparency from their government. Transparency leads to the truth about what’s going on. It puts people in a position to defend their rights. It protects our freedoms.