The U. S. House of Representatives, after 18 months of investigation and stonewalling by the Obama Justice Department have voted 255-67 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress. Holder becomes the first sitting attorney general to be held in contempt. Looks like the Obama administration has a first for everything.
Fox News reports,
The vote was preceded by a heated floor debate.
“It’s important to remember how we got here,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a speech ahead of the vote. “The Justice Department has not provided the facts and information we requested. … It’s our constitutional duty to find out.”
The GOP-led House took the step over the alleged failure to provide additional information about the failed gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — a division of the Justice Department led by Holder.
Democrats walked out of the chamber ahead of the vote.
Nancy Pelosi declared, “What is happening is shameful!” I’d say it was no more shameful than the former Communist Speaker of the House wanting people to pass a health care bill to find out what is in it. At least in this issue there was clear evidence of contempt and you didn’t have to vote in order to see the contempt of Eric Holder.
The vote was bi-partisan as 17 Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of contempt for Holder.
Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee tried to eliminate a vote on the floor of the House earlier, but Holder was uncooperative. Over one thousand more documents have been requested which Holder fails to provide.
The House proceeded with the vote after Holder continued to show that he would be unmoved.
Lawmakers also voted against a proposal to return the matter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee put forth by Rep. John dingell (D-MI).