GOP freshmen press Boehner, Cantor for Holder contempt vote

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Six House Republican freshmen have written to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor demanding they bring a resolution holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.

The members — Reps. Ben Quayle of Arizona, Tim Griffin of Arkansas, Sandy Adams of Florida, Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, Dennis Ross of Florida and Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, all freshmen on the House Judiciary Committee — asked Boehner and Cantor to move as quickly as possible on this and bring the resolution to the House floor for a vote soon.

“Eric Holder was the attorney general when U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry was killed by criminals using guns linked to Operation Fast and Furious,” they wrote to the GOP leaders. “As the heads of the Department of Justice, he is responsible for all activities within the department.”

“However, instead of cooperating with a congressional investigation and accepting responsibility, he continues to thwart the investigation and protect high-level officials,” they continued. “As the Supreme Court has established, it is within Congress’s authority to investigate and engage in congressional hearings. The arrogance of evading a congressional investigation for self protection and the protection of cronies insults not only the Terry family but also all those whose lives are endangered by allowing guns to knowingly cross the U.S. border into the hands of dangerous criminals.”

The GOP freshmen point out how 128 House members and three U.S. senators have demanded Holder’s resignation because of Fast and Furious and his failure to comply with a subpoena House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa served him on Oct. 12, 2011.

“The House of Representatives has seen its proper oversight function thwarted and obstructed,” the freshmen wrote to House GOP leadership. “It’s time for the House to formally recognize the obvious — that Attorney General Holder has not and will not cooperate with the legitimate investigation launched by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and is therefore in contempt of Congress.”

Holder has thus far failed to comply with all 22 categories of the subpoena that requires him to provide Congress with documents relating to Fast and Furious. On 13 of the categories, Holder has provided no documents. On the other nine subpoena categories, Holder is still far from compliant. (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)

House GOP leadership representatives haven’t immediately returned The Daily Caller’s request for comment on the freshmen letter, but Boehner has recently become more vocal about his support for Issa’s investigation. Last week, he publicly threw his support behind Issa’s efforts to enforce the subpoena.

“I’m supporting their efforts to hold those people in the Department of Justice accountable for what happened,” Boehner said. “The committee has work to do; they know what they have to do. They’re pursuing a lot of unanswered questions. And I would hope that they would continue that.”

“All options are on the table,” he added.

Also, at a Wednesday lunch with President Barack Obama and other congressional leaders, Boehner told the president that he needs to make Holder comply with the subpoena. The speaker also asked the president to encourage the attorney general to provide the information congressional investigators have sought about the Fast and Furious operation,” a Boehner aide wrote in an email to TheDC.

It’s unclear what, if anything, Obama said in response to Boehner. White House representatives haven’t answered that question when TheDC asked.

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2012-05-17 House Judiciary Freshman on Holder Contempt