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    Not above the law: Holder first U.S. Attorney General to be voted in Contempt of Congress

    Not above the law: Holder first U.S. Attorney General to be voted in Contempt of Congress

    This afternoon the full U.S. House of Representatives voted 255 to 67 to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress for failure to turn over specific documents. Eric Holder is now the first U.S. attorney general to be held in contempt of Congress in the history of the United States.

    17 Democrats joined Republicans in voting for contempt. One member voted present, and 110 members did not vote.

    The House votes on two separate items:

    • 1: Whether to hold Holder in contempt and then refer him to the DOJ [passed 255 to 67; 17 Democrats voted yes]
    • 2: Authorization to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to sue the DOJ in federal court [passed 258 to 95; 2 Republicans voted no]

    The congressman representing the district of the family of murdered border agent Brian Terry, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), indicated he would vote against contempt.

    In remarks prior to the vote, Rep. Issa (R-CA) said to Rep. Dingell: “When you say you represent Brian Terry, you do not.” Issa then read a statement from the Brian Terry family, which said that the only time they had heard from Dingell was one condolence letter.

    Many democrats joined the Congressional Black Caucus in walking out of the proceedings during the vote.

    UPDATE: Eric Holder issued a statement in reaction to the contempt vote, invoking Brian Terry’s name:

    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….



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    Anchovy | June 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    OK, what now? When I look at things like the ethics investigation against Maxine Waters or Jesse Jackson Jr., I have yet to see much in the way of negative consequences.

    So what happens if Holder just says KMA?

    Karnak | June 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    “So what happens if Holder just says KMA?”

    Nothing, nothing at all.

      Ragspierre in reply to Karnak. | June 29, 2012 at 8:59 am

      I don’t think so. For one thing, the court WILL get the documents to review.

        iconotastic in reply to Ragspierre. | June 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

        Which decade, Rags? Certainly not in time for this election. And, if the Administration can drag this all the way to the SCOTUS it appears they now have a friend in Roberts (who has “evolved” on the Court).

        Just another charade. Holder and Obama are laughing at the fools who believe anything will ever come of this.

          Ragspierre in reply to iconotastic. | June 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

          I’m not as cynical as you appear to be. Not that I condemn you…given the last few days of news.

          But even the Supremes are a head-spinning mass of contradictions, and they DO come down right a good bit. Which, in some ways, makes it harder on regular folk.

    Valerie | June 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I’m surprised it got as many Democratic votes (17) and that so many walked out (so they would not have to be on record as supporting the disgraceful way this Attorney General has acted (surely at the behest of his boss).

    Subotai Bahadur | June 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    And this vote gets us what? There is no real sanction attached to this. Democrats have no shame. And sadly the Republicans have no sense of self-preservation. They think that by being wusses, they will be eaten last.


    Subotai Bahadur

    VetHusbandFather | June 28, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    This was bad timing by the house. This has been overshadowed by the supreme court ruling. In another week this would have had been in the forefront again.

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