VISTA (CBS) — A panel of congressional lawmakers on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over Justice Department documents.
The straight party-line vote of 23-17 by the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform comes after Southern California Rep. Darrell Issa failed to reach an agreement with Eric Holder during a 20-minute meeting on Tuesday at the Capitol.
The vote followed a decision by President Barack Obama earlier in the day to assert executive privilege for the first time in his administration in order to protect the confidentiality of the documents.
Issa, a Republican lawmaker from Vista and the panel’s chairman, previously told the committee an earlier offer from Holder to release a limited number of documents to the committee falls short of their request.
“The Attorney General has refused to cooperate, offering to provide subpoenaed documents only if the committee agrees in advance to close the investigation,” said Issa. “No investigator would ever agree to that.”
Northern California Democrat Jackie Speier, who is also on the committee, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the proceedings are strictly political.
“‘Fast and Furious’ began during George W. Bush’s administration,” said Speier. “The whole point has been, ‘Did the Attorney General know? Everyone has said [he] did not know.”
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