House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that House Republicans attempting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress are part of a “nationwide scheme to suppress the vote.”
House Speaker John Boehner disagreed, saying that President Barack Obama’s decision to use “executive privilege” is an “admission” that the White House was involved in misleading Congress about Operation Fast and Furious.
“What we have seen is a shameful display of abuse of power by the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Instead of bringing job-creating legislation to the floor, the transportation bill, they are holding the attorney general of the United States in contempt of Congress for doing his job. It’s really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions. It is no accident. It is no coincidence that the attorney general of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol during her weekly press briefing.
“These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote. They are closely allied with those who are suffocating the system with unlimited special-interest secret money, and they are poisoning the debate. They are poisoning the debate with that money.”
Pelosi ended the briefing by saying, “Don’t forget: They’re going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states. This is no accident. It is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of the Republicans.” (PELOSI: ‘I could have arrested Karl Rove’)
Boehner, however, said the American people “deserve the truth” about Operation Fast and Furious.
“Congress also has a responsibility to the American people to learn the truth about what happened in Fast and Furious. On February the 4th, 2011, the Department of Justice denied allegations that it allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico. Ten months later, the Justice Department formally withdrew its denial and acknowledged that it made false claims to Congress about this reckless operation,” Boehner said Thursday.
“The Obama administration stonewalled Congress’ legitimate oversight responsibilities to find out how and why it made these false claims. Remember, we’re talking about a program that gave Mexican drug dealers guns, and those guns killed an American border agent.” (BOEHNER: Fast and Furious not politically smart for GOP)
Boehner called on the Obama administration to turn over the “relevant documents right now.” He claimed that Obama’s “decision to invoke executive privilege is an admission that White House officials were involved in decisions that misled the Congress and have covered up the truth.”
“So what is the Obama administration hiding in Fast and Furious?” he asked.