Congressman Bob Goodlatte issued this statement following his vote today to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the committee on Oversight and Government Reform. H. Res. 711, the resolution finding Eric Holder in criminal contempt, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 255-67. H. Res. 706, the resolution finding Eric Holder in civil contempt, passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 258-95.
"Answers and accountability -- that's what the American people deserve from Attorney General Holder," said Rep. Goodlatte. "Today I voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for his failure to provide these much-needed answers. This blatant refusal to cooperate will not be tolerated. For the past 16 months, Congress has been demanding answers from the Department of Justice regarding the handling of Operation Fast and Furious. But, under the leadership of the Attorney General, the Justice Department has failed to provide any information regarding the knowledge that leaders in the Obama Administration had in this scandal."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious is a flawed Justice Department sting operation that allowed 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. In 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed when a gun fight broke out with as many as five illegal aliens just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Two of the guns used to murder Agent Terry were traced back to Operation Fast and Furious.
"The Attorney General's refusal to cooperate with the congressional subpoena has only magnified the frustrations of Congress and the American people," said Rep Goodlatte. "This unwillingness to take responsibility when things went wrong is why I maintain that it is time for Eric Holder to step down as our nation's Attorney General. No one is above the law, and Attorney General Holder will not stand in the way of the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious."