Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-09) released the following statement today after the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his refusal to cooperate with the investigation of the controversial "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation.
"The full House has no choice but to move forward with a vote to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress. The Attorney General has repeatedly ignored calls from Members of Congress to cooperate with a joint investigation into reckless conduct during this botched operation. And, only after a vote to hold him in contempt was scheduled, did Mr. Holder engage in a last-ditch effort to find a political way to avoid the committee's contempt vote. It was too little, too late. If Mr. Holder won't do his job and report the information on Fast and Furious voluntarily, Congress must force him to answer to the American people."
The "Fast and Furious" program oversaw sales of nearly 2,000 firearms to suspected Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to trace gun trafficking. But, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recovered only 567 of the guns. Many of the guns were found at violent crime scenes, including at the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
It will now be up to the full House to vote on whether the Attorney General should be held in contempt. The committee's vote came on the heels of President Obama's decision to grant the Attorney General's 11th hour request to exert executive privilege over "Fast and Furious" documents. Rep. Graves co-sponsored H.R. 490 earlier this year, which expressed no confidence in Holder's leadership of the Justice Department. Rep. Graves also signed a letter sent to President Obama in 2011, urging the President to hold Mr. Holder accountable for Fast and Furious -- and to ask for his resignation.