Yesterday, House Oversight committee Chairman Darryl Issa's committee voted, 23-17, to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his refusal to turn over to Congress documents relevant to the "Fast and Furious" gun running program. I am glad that they did. Issa's committee is investigating the death of ATF Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in southern Arizona by a firearm that was allowed across the border as part of Operation Fast and Furious. At the beginning of the hearing, Issa received a message from the Department of Justice that the President was invoking executive privilege.
I have previously called on Attorney General Holder to resign because of a pattern of lawless behavior by Holder and this Administration.
President Obama's use of executive privilege is inconsistent with common sense and legal precedent. His effort to deny the American people access to answers about who made important decisions within his Administration is unacceptable. Executive privilege may shield confidential aspects of the decision-making process, but it is not meant to protect those who were responsible for making misguided decisions from accountability for their actions.
Invoking executive privilege has now made the President, not just his attorney general, party to the stonewalling of Congress. A young man--an American--died while faithfully serving his country as a direct result of the decision to allow guns to walk across the border. Unless the President reverses course and provides the documents that Congress has requested, I will, next week, vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. My colleagues and I will not cease the hunt for truth until we determine who will be held accountable for this tragic failure.
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Member of Congress