In a last minute attempt at a deal to keep from having a full House vote on contempt charges against the United States Attorney General, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and House Speaker John Boehner met with Eric Holder to once again request the documents they have requested for months. Not surprisingly Holder did not come through. However, he did have his staff provide 30 documents that produced no new evidence in the botched Fast and Furious operation.
All of this followed Issa’s challenge to Barack Obama’s assertion of executive privilege and it’s subsequent dismissal by White House spokesman Ed Schultz claiming, “Our position is consistent with executive branch legal precedent for the past three decades spanning administrations of both parties.”
While the Obama administration is unwilling to work with the House Oversight Committee and looking more and more guilty as each day goes by, the vote on contempt is shaping up to be more and more partisan. That’s fine. Let the party’s show partisanship. This only further demonstrates the ideologies behind them.
With that said, at least one Democrat is openly going to break ranks with his party and vote in favor of contempt for the Attorney General. Utah Democrat Jim Matheson has said he will vote against Holder. “It just compounds the tragedy when both sides play politics instead of releasing the facts. The Terry family, the public and Congress deserve answers,” Matheson said. “Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the attorney general in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable.”
Chairman Issa has declared that he has at least 31 Democrats that will vote with Republicans in favor of contempt.
The politically potent National Rifle Association is also keeping tabs on the vote, which may be some of the motivation for certain Democrats to vote with Republicans against Holder. The NRA supports the contempt resolution.
In a letter to House members, the NRA claims that the Obama administration “actively sought information” from Operation Fast and Furious to support its program to require dealers to report multiple rifle sales.
The vote is scheduled for Thursday.