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Lee Statement in Opposition to House Contempt Vote on Attorney General Holder


Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement in response to House GOP leadership announcing a vote to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress:

"On Thursday, Speaker Boehner has scheduled a House vote to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to produce additional documents related to the "Fast & Furious' operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at the Department of Justice. The failed program, which relied on inappropriate tactics developed by the Bush Administration, was run by a local ATF office and mistakenly allowed untraced guns to go to Mexican drug cartels. One of these firearms was tragically used to kill an American border patrol officer.

"The fact is that once the Justice Department learned about these flaws, Attorney General Holder put a stop to the operation, called for an independent investigation, and instituted reforms and personnel changes to ensure it will not happen again. The Justice Department has provided more than 7,600 documents related to the program to the House Committee on Oversight. After an 18-month investigation, the Committee has yet to discover any evidence that Attorney General Holder or the Department of Justice had any knowledge of a cover-up or any evidence of wrongdoing.

"This contempt vote is without precedent and is a hyper-partisan election year political ploy. Congress has the answers to its questions about who designed this flawed operation and who authorized it. The true motivation behind this contempt resolution is simple: this is really about suppressing voter turnout. The Department of Justice continues to block GOP efforts to stop millions of Americans from casting their vote this fall.

"A continuation of this witch hunt diverts attention from issues that matter to Americans, like passing a transportation bill, stopping an increase in the student loan rates, fixing our sputtering economy, and creating jobs for Americans that are desperate to get back to work."

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