House Republicans will proceed with a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder, after an eleventh-hour attempt to reach an agreement failed on Tuesday.
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa told reporters tonight that he plans to move forward with the committee vote tomorrow, unless Holder decides to turn over documents related to the Department of Justice’s handling of Operation Fast and Furious, the Arizona gun smuggling scandal in which U.S. agents allowed thousands of guns to “walk” across the border, into the hands of Mexico’s violent drug cartels.
Issa and Holder met again on Tuesday to try to break the stalemate, but both parties came away empty-handed. Holder told reporters after the meeting that Republicans had rejected an “extraordinary offer” from the DOJ, which included documents and briefings.
Issa said in a statement that the DOJ’s offer also included a demand that House end its investigation into the Fast & Furious scandal.
Here’s the full text of Issa’s statement:
“I had hoped that after this evening’s meeting I would be able to tell you that the Department had delivered documents that would justify the postponement of tomorrow’s vote on contempt. The Department told the Committee on Thursday that it had documents it could produce that would answer our questions. Today, the Attorney General informed us that the Department would not be producing those documents. The only offer they made involved us ending our investigation.
“While I still hope the Department will reconsider its decision so tomorrow’s vote can be postponed, after this meeting I cannot say that I am optimistic. At this point, we simply do not have the documents we have repeatedly said we need to justify the postponement of a contempt vote in committee.”
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