House Panel Finds Attorney General Eric Holder In Contempt

Source: Leigh Ann Caldwell / CBS News

A year-and-a-half long investigation into a botched gun trafficking program culminated Wednesday with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines to pass a resolution holding the attorney general in contempt for withholding documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious.

The vote went forward despite intervention by President Obama, who invoked executive privilege, which protects the Justice Department from handing over documents, even though a subpoena has been issued.

For Holder to be held in contempt, the full House of Representatives must approve the committee’s resolution, though punishment could be hard to hand down. A 2007 Congressional Research Service report notes if “information is protected under executive privilege, past practice suggests that the Department of Justice will not pursue a prosecution.”

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