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Buerkle Votes to Find Holder in Contempt, Criticizes President's Executive Privilege Threat

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to find Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. in contempt of Congress. Attorney General Holder has failed to provide information tied to an ongoing investigation into the Justice Department's Fast and Furious gunwalking investigation. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), a member of the committee, released the following statement regarding the vote:

"Throughout this investigation the Attorney General's actions have been reprehensible. He has been callous toward the victim's family, inaccurate in the information he has provided to Congress, not taken responsibility for his role, and dodged difficult questions. If he was going to provide the requested documents, he would have done so already.

"In addition to the Attorney General stonewalling this committee, we now have the President threatening to invoke Executive Privilege. The President promised the most open and transparent government this country has ever seen, yet his threat of Executive Privilege is the exact opposite of what he said he would do.

"The lack of transparency with respect to a dead border patrol agent is sickening and this morning's threat of asserting an Executive Privilege is irresponsible. Leaders must lead, in good times and bad, and take responsibility for decisions that are made.

"Our mission on this committee is to shed light on government activity. The President is obstructing our ability to do so. What is he worried about in the documents we are requesting? What is he hiding? Were there more guns that walked? Were there more Mexican gangs implicated? Were there more border patrol agents who were silenced, hurt, or even killed?

"The American people deserve answers. Brian Terry's family deserves answers.

"I applaud Chairman Issa's persistence in holding someone accountable for Operation Fast and Furious. Finding Mr. Holder in contempt today is a step in the right direction to getting the answers America deserves, and I will continue to fight for transparency and justice over Operation Fast and Furious."

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee found Attorney General Holder in contempt by a vote of 23-17. The matter now moves to for consideration by the full House.

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