Attorney General Eric Holder has been found in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives on Thursday for failing to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal.
Newser reports that the ruling is a first for a sitting attorney general, and now the matter will go to DR’s federal attorney, in order to determine if they will press criminal charges or not.
The vote was 255-67, with 17 Democrats joining Republicans. Also, a separate civil contempt charge will allow the House to go to court in order to try to get the documents Holder has withheld.
Politico reports that the second contempt charge passed with a 258-95 margin, with 21 Democrats voting for. Adding to the drama, several Democrats, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked off the floor in the middle of the vote.
After the vote, Eric Holder said in a statement that:
“Today’s vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided – and politically motivated – investigation during an election year. By advancing it over the past year and a half, Congressman Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety. Instead of trying to correct the problems that led to a series of flawed law enforcement operations, and instead of helping us find ways to better protect the brave law enforcement officers, like Agent Brian Terry, who keep us safe – they have led us to this unnecessary and unwarranted outcome.”
News Day reports that the controversial Operation Fast and Furious documents are needed for an investigation into the operation, according to Republicans. The documents focus on 10 months in 2011 when the Obama administration acknowledged that guns were allowed to “walk” from Arizona to Mexico, when they had originally denied the claim.