Politics
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  

Issa to Holder: You can still avoid contempt if you give up Fast and Furious documents

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Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

A spokeswoman for House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder could still avoid the contempt of Congress proceedings on the horizon — if he cooperates with the congressional subpoena he’s thus far failed to comply with.

“The Justice Department can still avoid contempt,” Issa spokeswoman Becca Watkins told TheDC. “They need to pledge their cooperation and stop stonewalling on critical documents outlined by the committee in the draft contempt report.”

Watkins said those “critical documents” include “what high ranking officials knew about Fast and Furious and when they knew it, information about informants and their roles, and how the Justice Department changed its view from denying that gunwalking occurred to acknowledging that Fast and Furious was fundamentally flawed.”

Holder has outright failed to comply with the subpoena Issa served him in October 2011 on Fast and Furious. That subpoena contains 22 parts, and Holder has failed to fulfill each and every one of those categories. For 13 of the categories, Holder has provided no documents whatsoever, and for the other nine categories, Holder remains far from compliant, as TheDC documented in full late last week.

All indications are that contempt proceedings for Holder will move forward, assuming he doesn’t produce the documents. Issa released the lengthy contempt of Congress citation draft last week to Democrats and Republicans on his committee, and Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar is set to lead a “special order” on the House floor later this week. A special order is an official vehicle for House members to voice their concerns about Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice’s stonewalling tactics and Holder’s continued failure to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Both the special order and the contempt citation draft’s release indicate House leadership support. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)

Currently, 127 House members think Holder should resign or be fired over Fast and Furious, have expressed “no confidence” in him via a formal House resolution, or both. Three U.S. senators, two sitting governors and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney have joined those House members in demanding Holder’s removal from office.

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