The House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will vote next week on whether or not to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for his failure to cooperate with a subpoena.
The subpoena attempt is a result of Holder’s failure to turn over thousands of documents regarding “Operation Fast and Furious.” The documents were requested on Oct. 12, 2011.
Holder, however, has argued that he has complied, stating, “we have provided to this committee material that is relevant, and only redacted that which is necessary.”
However, during a hearing almost a year ago, House Oversight Committee member Darrell Issa held up a document that was completely censored, with a black box over the entire page, stating, “You should be ashamed of yourself. The pages go on like this forever.”
“Fast and Furious” or “Project Gunrunner,” are the common names given to the “gunwalking” sting operation by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The sting was set up in order to track firearms and stem the flow of drugs into the U.S. with the goal of leading to the arrest of Mexican drug cartels.
Despite a large number of arrests, fewer than half of the firearms sent out have been recovered.
If the House Oversight Committee approves the contempt charges, the issue would most likely result in a full House vote.
CBS News reports that if the committee moves forward with contempt charges, it would only be the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has voted to take action against an executive branch member.
The hearing is scheduled for June 20.
A vote on contempt of Holder reflects poorly on an administration that apparently has no interest in oversight of its own attorney general, even when American lives are lost in the process.