During Thursday’s broadcast of “Daily Rundown” on MSNBC, anchor Chuck Todd made the apparently false statement that House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa “doesn’t really have the votes” to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
Issa needs 21 votes to move the contempt citation out of the committee and before the full House. The Hill newspaper reported on May 22 that Issa “might not have the votes” to accomplish that goal because just 16 members of the committee had publicly supported the resolution. Since then, Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner said he would vote for it, meaning Issa now has 17 confirmed votes.
Spokespersons for Reps. Justin Amash and Todd Platts told The Daily Caller they planned to review the final contempt citation document before making decisions. Amash’s spokesman reminded TheDC that the Michigan Republican has called for Holder’s resignation.
Spokespersons for Reps. Connie Mack, Tim Walberg and Patrick Meehan have not responded to requests for comment by The Hill and TheDC. Mack and Walberg have, however, demanded Holder’s resignation, while Meehan, a former prosecutor, has been critical of Holder throughout the Fast and Furious saga.
The only major question mark among House oversight committee Republicans is Rep. Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, who said “no comment” when asked by The Hill how he would vote. Guinta has not responded to TheDC’s request for further comment.
Assuming Amash, Mack, Walberg and Meehan all vote in favor of contempt, though, Issa wouldn’t even need votes from Platts or Guinta.
Tennessee Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper — one of 31 House Democrats who wrote to President Barack Obama more than a year ago asking him to direct Holder and the Justice Department to comply with the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious — may also support the contempt resolution. Cooper’s spokesperson has not responded to requests from TheDC about how he plans to vote on a contempt resolution.
Issa said he is confident that “about 31 Democrats” will vote in favor of contempt, referring to the letter sent by the Democrats.
Once the contempt citation leaves the House Oversight Committee, it will go to the full House for a floor vote. Because House GOP leadership, including House Speaker John Boehner, has voiced support for holding Holder in contempt over Fast and Furious, it appears likely the full House will pass the resolution as well.
Todd has not responded to TheDC’s request for comment on his statement, which is the latest in a long line of questionable information on Operation Fast and Furious coming from establishment media outlets.
New York Times reporter Charlie Savage violated his company’s code of journalistic ethics just weeks ago, when he printed a false story on Fast and Furious. And Boehner’s office challenged a similar story in which Politico reporters Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan claimed Boehner’s staff was negotiating directly with Holder’s team to compromise on the Fast and Furious investigation — a claim Boehner has said is demonstrably false.
Politico’s Mike Allen, on the other hand, has hardly mentioned the Fast and Furious scandal or the approaching contempt of Congress proceedings against Holder in his morning “Playbook” email. And “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” mentioned the scandal for the first time in over a year-and-a-half just this week, according to Breitbart.com.