House GOP still mulling Holder contempt

House Republicans are not ready to proceed with a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious scandal, but there are clear signals that that GOP patience with the Justice Department is wearing thin.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday night that Speaker John Boehner had “given the green light” to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to pursue a contempt citation against Holder and the Justice Department for failing to comply with the panel’s probe into the hugely controversial program.

But GOP leadership aides and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee say no decision has been made to take such a dramatic step. They acknowledge, however, the possibility of bringing contempt proceedings has been discussed in leadership sessions.

“While there are very legitimate arguments to be made in favor of such an action, no decision has been made to move forward with one by the Speaker or by House Republican leaders,” a senior GOP leadership aide said.

“The Justice Department has not fully cooperated with the investigation into gunwalking that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious. The House Oversight Committee continues to make necessary preparations to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt if the Justice Department refuses to change course and stop blocking access to critical documents,” a spokesman for Issa added.

“While the committee continues to move toward consideration of contempt, it is important to note that the next step in the process of contempt must be made by the Oversight Committee. Reports, based on anonymous sources, that decisions for consideration of contempt on the House floor have already been made are inaccurate.”

The Times also reported it had obtained a draft 48-page contempt resolution being circulated by Issa’s staff. Committee sources confirmed the authenticity of the document but again cautioned that no final call had been made on whether to press the issue with a floor vote.

Read more at POLITICO.

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