Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe shot back at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s charge that Republicans are pursuing contempt of Congress charges against Attorney General Eric Holder as part of a coordinated “scheme” to suppress voters, saying that the investigation is “about the suppression of gunwalking, not voters.”
On Wednesday, House oversight committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s committee voted 23-17 to hold Holder in contempt for his failure to comply with congressional subpoenas related to Operation Fast and Furious — a program that resulted in the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata was also likely killed with weapons the Obama administration gave to drug cartels.
Fast and Furious was a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program, overseen by the Department of Justice, which facilitated the sale of thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers. Straw purchasers are people who can legally purchase guns in the United States but do so with the intention of illegally trafficking them into Mexico.
It’s unclear how Pelosi thinks pushing for accountability over Holder’s failure to provide Congress with documents under subpoena is a “scheme” to suppress voting. But it is likely because she thinks congressional Republicans are actually investigating Holder for the Fast and Furious scandal because they don’t like his anti-voter ID policies.
“Nancy Pelosi is wrong again,” Poe said in a statement. “The congressional investigation into Fast and Furious is about the suppression of gunwalking, not voters. As the minority leader should know, the attorney general lost all credibility to investigate Fast and Furious long before Congress voted to hold him in contempt.”
“This is about the chief law enforcement officer hiding evidence from Congress and the American people, running out the clock and delaying the truth until the polls close in November,” Poe continued. “No one is above the law, especially not the attorney general.”
The full U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote to hold Holder in contempt next week if he continues to not provide Congress with Fast and Furious documents.
President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over many of those documents this week, plunging the White House into the fray.