The House of Representatives voted to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over hundreds of documents related to the Operation Fast & Furious scandal.
A total of 239 Republicans voted in favor of the resolution with 17 Democrats joining them. The final tally was 255 in favor and 67 against. Two Republicans voted nay and one Democrat voted present. More than one hundred Democrats walked off the floor in protest.
The contempt vote is a historic setback for an administration that claimed it would bring “transparency” to the White House. Instead, Attorney General Holder refused to release documents that would potentially implicate himself and the president in wrongdoing.
Operation Fast and Furious is plausibly the most serious scandal in American political history. On the Obama administration’s watch, thousands of guns were run to Mexican drug cartels and only several hundred guns were traced. The operation resulted in hundreds of Mexican civilian deaths and that of border patrol agent Brian Terry.
While several Democrats grandstanded and decried the contempt vote as election year politics, the vote was an attempt to get accountability from a White House that has stonewalled and refused to come clean with the American people. The Congressional Black Caucus even suggested the resolution against Eric Holder was racially motivated and publicized that they would walk out of the vote.
The affirmative contempt vote sets the stage for a U.S. attorney to convene a grand jury to decide whether or not to consider allegations against Mr. Holder and whether or not to indict him.
In any event, the contempt vote is not the last we will hear about Operation Fast and Furious in the run-up to the November elections. The story has become too big for the mainstream media to ignore and its development will certainly represent another humiliation for the administration among independents and moderates, not to mention for the news media complex itself.
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