Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Mississippi's fourth congressional representative, released the following statement today after voting in favor of a resolution to hold Attorney General Holder in criminal contempt of Congress. The measure passed in the House of Representatives by a bipartisan vote of 255-67, with 17 Democrats joining with Republicans. The House also approved a Civil Contempt Resolution.
"'Fast and Furious' is a serious matter that has led to loss of life and the loss of thousands of firearms along the U.S.-Mexican border," Palazzo stated. "Congress deserves answers. The American people deserve answers. And Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's family certainly deserves answers. It is high time for Attorney General Holder and this administration to get serious and give some answers."
Thursday's votes came after a June 20th measure passed the House Oversight and Investigation Committee by a vote of 23-17. The denial of almost 100,000 documents, and questions surrounding Holder's testimony at congressional hearings, led to the contempt votes.
Palazzo is one of a growing number of members of Congress who have called for Attorney General Holder's resignation. He signed onto a letter in November 2011 asking President Obama to ask for Attorney General Holder's resignation as part of the president's "promise to the American people" to find those responsible for the botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) program. Since that time, President Obama announced he would invoke executive privilege on almost 100,000 documents that the Department of Justice has refused to turn over to Congress.
"It is a shame that it had to come to this," Palazzo concluded. "Over the many months of investigations, we have stumbled upon more questions than answers and more disturbing practices within DOJ, than procedures that inspire confidence. That is why I remain committed to calling for Attorney General Holder's resignation, and for the release of the DOJ documents."