WASHINGTON — Setting up a potential constitutional confrontation, a GOP-controlled House panel voted Wednesday to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress, just hours after President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege — for the first time — to withhold documents demanded by the committee.
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Members of delegation respond
Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City
Lankford is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
“Refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena comes with consequences including the loss of public trust and being held in contempt,” Lankford said
“My goal is to answer the following questions: who authorized the Fast and Furious actions; why were the actions authorized; who was in charge of operational oversight; and why were the actions allowed to continue? Now, we must also add the question, what is the administration trying to hide with such extraordinary methods?
“The administration has previously denied involvement in the Fast and Furious operation, but now they have invoked executive privilege. If no wrongdoing occurred, why would the administration ardently fight investigation? Executive privilege only increases the speculation that facts are being withheld to protect people rather than resolve the issue.
“We must make sure this type of operation and loose oversight never occurs again. We will hold this administration accountable for its misconduct.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore
“President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege can only be interpreted as a desperate attempt to hide the truth about Fast and Furious. This investigation could have been completed months ago, but the repeated refusal of Eric Holder’s Justice Department to cooperate has left the Oversight Committee with no choice but to pursue contempt charges.
“Congress and the Justice Department should be working together toward the common goal of providing answers to the American people and ensuring that a debacle like Fast and Furious never happens again. Today’s developments confirm that while the House Oversight Committee is seeking the truth, the White House is actively working to conceal it.”
Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau