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COURAGE OR COP-OUT?

by Sharon Rondeau

Is Speaker of the House John Boehner trying to neutralize a contempt of Congress vote on Eric Holder?

(Jun. 19, 2012) — On June 11, 2012, Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office issued a press release which stated that he supported a contempt of Congress citation against putative Attorney General Eric Holder for refusing to turn over documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee last October pertaining to “Fast & Furious,” a gunrunning operation which culminated in two American and several hundred Mexican deaths after guns ended up in the hands of criminals and drug-runners.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other Republican House members had “issued a letter to Holder demanding that he fully cooperate with the Oversight Committee investigation.”  Since April of this year, Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has sought a contempt of Congress citation for Holder and scheduled a vote on the motion for Wednesday, June 20.

In an article dated June 18, 2012, Fox News reported that Boehner “publicly” supported citing Holder for contempt but might not now be as supportive as his previous public statement.  A vote on the measure was scheduled for June 20 at 10:00 a.m. EDT in the Oversight Committee, which, if passed, would then go to the full House of Representatives led by Boehner.

In a new development yesterday, Issa agreed to meet with Holder at 5:00 p.m. today after Holder suggested an effort at “compromise” by his providing a “briefing” of the details of how the Justice Department learned of the Fast & Furious operation.

Issa has asked for “1300 documents” as well as “a description of all the documents” which Holder has refused to release since last fall.  If received, Issa might postpone the contempt vote.  However, the Justice Department might not produce enough material to satisfy Issa’s request or any material at all in advance of the meeting.  Holder claims that much of the documentation sought by the committee cannot be released because of ongoing criminal investigations.

Issa wishes Sen. Charles Grassley to attend the meeting, and Holder has requested that Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the Oversight Committee, and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) attend.

Comments made on Boehner’s website in response to his June 11 press release indicate support for the contempt citation against Holder.  One commenter wrote, in part:

I am writing to you because of some very disturbing news that has been seeping into the Internet news blogs. It seems that you and the rest of the Republican House leadership are considering quietly killing Representative Darrel Issa’s investigation into the Department of Justice’s “Fast and Furious” gun walking program. If that is true, then it means that there will be NO accountability for Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. for the deaths of two of our border agents and the thousands of Mexicans killed by the guns sent to Mexico because of this incompetently-handled activity!

Boehner has reportedly been pressured by numerous civil rights groups to abandon the contempt citation against Holder, while the National Rifle Association is reportedly lobbying Boehner to go forward with it.

Eric Cantor has also been said to be unsupportive of the contempt citation.  Today The Post & Email contacted Cantor’s office and was put through to his media person, Laena Fallon, where we left a voice message and then sent an email to inquire as to Cantor’s position on whether or not Holder should be held in contempt.

“Some Republicans” as yet unidentified apparently view the contempt move as a “political distraction,” and John Boehner has been namedas having urged Issa “to drop the Fast and Furious investigation because Boehner sees it as an election-year distraction that could hurt Republicans at the polls.”
This morning The Post & Email called John Boehner’s office and was placed on hold with a recorded message stating that call volume was high.  We waited several minutes but never reached anyone or a way to leave a voice message.  After placing another call to Boehner’s office, we reached a staff member who took our inquiry to Press Secretary Michael Steele.  We left a voice message with our contact information and the question, “Is Speaker Boehner supportive or against the contempt of Congress citation against Eric Holder scheduled for tomorrow?”

Any response from Cantor or Boehner’s offices will be published if and when they arrive.

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  1. DISTRACTION?!!!

    This is the SAME LANGUAGE AS OBAMA’s DAVID PLOUFFE USED to describe the call for an independent prosecutor for the F+F Investigation, on Fox news Sunday.

    By his statement, BOEHNER openly acknowledges he is working for OBAMA.

    RUN THIS GUY OUT OF CONGRESS.