Thursday, June 28, 2012

Congress Holds Holder in Contempt, Authorizes Suit

The House of Representatives voted today to approve House Resolution 706, holding AG Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for declining to turn over documents related to the DOJ's response to congressional and media inquiries into the Fast and Furious program.  Under the Resolution, the House holds AG Holder in contempt and authorizes the Chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa, "to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings in any Federal court of competent jurisdiction . . . to seek declaratory judgments affirming the duty of [AG Holder] to comply with any subpoena that is a subject of the resolution accompanying House Report 112-546"--the report issued by the Committee last week.

We posted on the Committee's vote here (with links to helpful sources); we posted on the administration's subsequent assertion of executive privilege here.

The move means that Rep. Issa and his committee can take the case directly to court, bypassing another option--referring the matter to the Assistant U.S. Attorney for D.C.  If Rep. Issa files, he will ask the court to order AG Holder to turn over the subpoenaed documents, notwithstanding the administration's assertion last week of executive privilege.  

The vote was 255 to 67, largely along party lines.  Seventeen Democrats voted with Republicans; two Republicans crossed the aisle.  More than 100 Democrats boycotted the vote altogether.


Congressional Authority, Executive Authority, Executive Privilege, News, Separation of Powers | Permalink

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