The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the following excerpts from the Congresswoman's remarks on the House floor on the contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder.
"Any doubt that today's contempt resolution is political was put to rest when the NRA joined in to blowtorch vulnerable Democrats to vote for contempt today. The gun lobby is directly responsible for the gap in federal law that allowed the straw purchases of guns here that were taken to Mexico, ultimately resulting in the tragic death of a border agent. Yet because of a political mandate from the gun lobby, our committee spent no time on the root cause of this tragedy. Instead, after the majority failed to get the documents it requested that were under court seal and documents related to ongoing investigations, it asked for internal communications that no Republican or Democratic administration has ever given up. Instead of sparing no effort to give law enforcement the tools it must have to protect our border agents, our committee has spared no effort to get to today's contempt resolution over issues unrelated to the tragic killing. After 16 months, the committee found no evidence that the Attorney General or other top Justice Department officials knew about the ATF gunwalking. And the committee resolutely refused to hear from top ATF officials who said that they, in turn, had given the Justice Department no such information. It is Attorney General Holder who stopped the gunwalking authorized and started by the Bush administration. The contempt today, Mr. Speaker, is for the truth."