House Republicans, Holder Head For Showdown Over Gun-Trafficking Scandal

By: From NPR News, by Krishnadev Calamur
By: From NPR News, by Krishnadev Calamur


WASHINGTON (From NPR) -- A House panel will meet Wednesday to consider a report holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the controversial Operation Fast and Furious, a botched gun-trafficking operation.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, met with Holder on Tuesday in an effort to resolve difference over his panel's subpoena for the documents.

"I had hoped that after this evening's meeting I would be able to tell you that the Department had delivered documents that would justify the postponement of tomorrow's vote on contempt," Issa said in a statement on the committee's website. "The Department told the Committee on Thursday that it had documents it could produce that would answer our questions. Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation."

Issa said he hoped the department will reconsider its decision so the vote can be postponed, but added he wasn't "optimistic" that would happen.

"At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee," he said.

And NPR's Carrie Johnson reported on the 2-way battle back in February:

"Fast and Furious broke into public view after the December 2010 death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Two guns connected to the botched gun-trafficking operation were found near the body of Brian Terry, igniting two congressional probes and an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general."

Holder appeared before the panel on June 7th where he faced a grilling from Issa and other Republican lawmakers. Issa asked Holder if his department knew of the tactics used in the flawed gunrunning operation, and Republicans accused him of not coming clean and not complying with subpoenas.


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