US House to Vote on Contempt Charges Against Attorney General

Posted June 26th, 2012 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. House of Representatives is to vote Thursday on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over documents related to a botched gun-running operation.

The vote would be the first such action in U.S. history against a sitting attorney general, the head of the U.S. Justice Department. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted last week to approve a recommendation to send the measure to the full House.

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege to withhold the documents demanded by the oversight committee. Committee chairman Darrell Issa says Thursday's vote could be postponed if Holder releases the documents.

The committee is investigating an operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms between 2009 and 2011. The operation, nicknamed “Fast and Furious,” was aimed at helping agents catch Mexican drug cartels that were potentially buying weapons being sold across the U.S.-Mexican border.

But the ATF lost track of many of the weapons, one of which was involved in the fatal shooting of an Border Patrol agent in 2010.