House votes AG Eric Holder in contempt

For the first time in U.S. history, a United States Attorney General is found to be in contempt of Congress.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives in a 256-67 votes (with 17 Democrats joining the Republicans), voted to hold the Obama administration’s AG Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over the Fast & Furious Mexican gun-running operation that resulted in the deaths of Mexicans as well as U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Stephen Dinan reports for The Washington Times, June 28, 2012:

The House on Thursday cited Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for contempt of Congress in a historic vote weighted with political significance, though it does little to break the stalemate over his decision to withhold documents over the Justice Department’s actions in a botched gun-walking operation.

The 256-67 vote amounted to a political spanking for Mr. Holder and President Obama, and 17 Democrats joined with Republicans in demanding the documents be released. Most Democrats, however, walked out in protest of the vote.

It marks the first time an attorney general has been held in contempt by a chamber.

But the White House dismissed the proceedings as a sideshow, and the vote does nothing to break the impasse, though it further poisoned feelings in an already bitterly divided chamber.

“No Justice Department is above the law, and no Justice Department is above the Constitution,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican.

Democrats pleaded with the Republicans to slow down the proceedings, saying the oversight committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, has done a shoddy job in putting together its investigation.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, even introduced a resolution demanding that the House reprimand Mr. Issa for partisanship and accusing him of having “engaged in a witch hunt.”

Many Democrats walked out of the contempt vote in protest, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said the vote was a black eye for the Republicans.

“Just when you think you have seen it all. Just when you think they couldn’t possibly go any further over the edge, they come up with something like this,” she said. “What is happening here is shameful.”

Read the rest of the news article here.

So what does “in contempt of Congress” means?

Here’s what The Free Dictionary says:

An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.

Individuals may be cited for contempt when they disobey an order, fail to comply with a request, tamper with documents, withhold evidence, interrupt proceedings through their actions or words, or otherwise defy a public authority or hold it up to ridicule and disrespect. The laws and rules governing contempt have developed in a piecemeal fashion over time and give wide discretion to judges and legislative leaders in determining both what constitutes contempt and how it is punished.

Contempt of Congress

The Constitution does not explicitly grant Congress the power to coerce cooperation from individuals or to punish acts of disobedience or disrespect through contempt proceedings. However, the power was discussed at the Constitutional Convention and was implied in the Constitution. In 1795, Congress used the power of contempt for the first time when it arrested, tried, and punished a man accused of bribing members of the House of Representatives. Then Congress acted on its own authority—subsequently called the Self-Help power, which grants Congress the right to compel testimony and punish disobedience without the involvement of a court or other government body if the individual’s actions obstruct the legislative process.

UPDATE:

I just got the names of the 17 Democrats who did the right thing, from my friend Jay, the Democrat lawyer. This is his message attached to the list: “Here is the democrat honor role.  The rest are apparently eating bath salts and cannabis!”
Democrats who voted for contempt:
Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa.
Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.
Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.
Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa
Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky.
Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa.
Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y.
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.
Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C.
Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah
Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.
Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y.
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.
Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.
Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn.
~Eowyn

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0 responses to “House votes AG Eric Holder in contempt

  1. Cowards – those that walked out. Each and every one of them.

     
  2. This entire criminal administration should be held in contempt.
    -Dave

     
  3. Eyes Wide Open

    The vote won’t matter. The Supreme Court will rule Holder and his boss are within their rights since Fast and Furious is just another tax on the American People.
    You know, we need a new flag. I propose a white one since we have clearly surrendered, with a middle finger extended, the color of United Nations blue since that represents all the productive members of this society can expect from the government.

     
  4. So what happens now ? Will he have to stand in the corner for awhile, after receiving a slap on the wrist …or what ??? (sigh)

     
  5. Many of those guns have been found at crime scenes and Congress wants serious answers. Especially after U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry was killed by those same guns. The DEA revealed the Justice Departments involvement in sworn testimony to Congress last year. Political insiders said they believe the main goal was to increase gun death statistics to warrant national gun control in the USA and suspected Hillary Clinton was the brains behind the operation. President Obama has claimed executive privilege and will not cooperate with Congress. Clinton, Holder, and Obama are all in favor of extreme gun control laws revealed by their past standing on the issue. 

     
    • edward oleander

      “Political insiders said they believe the main goal was to increase gun death statistics to warrant national gun control in the USA and suspected Hillary Clinton was the brains behind the operation.”
      That makes no sense whatsoever. Please explain why an increase in the number of Mexicans killed in Mexico by Mexican drug cartels would have any impact on American gun control laws. I’m a huge supporter of strict gun control, and I sure don’t see any logic in this. Mexico already has a firearm murder rate that is more than double our own, What would a slight increase there accomplish?
      I would think that the gun-control advocacy groups would get more mileage out of the idea that merely being able to move 2500 guns into Mexico without causing suspicion among the cartels is proof in and of itself that better gun laws are needed… The implication is that many thousands of guns are moving across the border, with my conclusion being that guns are too easy to obtain, and too easy to get into the black market under current law.

       
  6. Hello Grouchy, Hairball, fits him to a T. Or an H, lol. Contemptable Cat Hack Holder!

     
  7. Louis Grue Jr.

    I, an American first want to congradulate the 17 Democratic congressman that voted for contempt charges against AG. Eric Holder. I always admire those who put America first and party second. My wish is that the citizens
    of their states realize what caracter these people have and keep them in office. I am a conservative but support them for being good Americans first!

     
  8. Louis Grue Jr.

    For those people who want gun control please give up your guns now, I will be happy to keep mine ,thank you !!! An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure! or haven’t you learned that yet?

     
    • I doubt those that want gun control even own a gun! But I’d be more than happy to take them off their hands 🙂

       
    • edward oleander

      I totally agree about the ounce of prevention, which is why I favour legislation designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Since the gun that shoots you or me is most likely to have been purchased legally by a shill, or stolen from another legal purchaser, the key to preventing criminals from getting guns is to make them harder to get and own. I’ve mentioned before how my great-uncle was held up with his own gun, in his own home by three teenage girls. Over a dozen guns fell into the hands of criminals that day. Why in hell did Uncle Jack need that many guns? My old neighbor had 25 in his house, of which only 6 were long guns. What a prize that would have made!
      For the record, I own 3 guns… A .22 rifle and 2 shotguns. They are trigger locked, disassembled, and the ammo is hidden in a different spot. Are yours as safe?

       
      • edward oleander

        I agree that we should be able to defend ourselves, but are we biting off our own nose to spite our face by demanding easy access to ever more powerful guns? Or are we *accidentally* creating the NEED to defend ourselves by letting too many guns go to criminals? The plethora of current laws still make too easy to legally buy a handgun or Rambo rifle. They need to be culled, updated, and strengthened.
        BTW, I don’t have children, nor do they visit. I keep the guns stored like that because they are for hunting and pleasure shooting, not immediate home defense. I’m handy with sharp things, hand-held or thrown, and have plenty of those in strategic places should my door be rattled at night… Even if they get stolen someday, it’s tough to conceal a sword, quarterstaff or spear, and not many people get robbed with throwing stars, 2lb cannonballs, a recurve bow, or a wrist rocket. As a young boy, my future father-in-law (a Korean War frogman) taught me to throw damn near anything for effect, and years of watching bad ’70s martial arts movies with a Korean Tae-Kwon-Do master taught me the rest.
        I admit my approach won’t work for everyone. My wife and I rarely sleep at the same time, so complete surprise would be difficult to achieve. Defending from being asleep in your bed is difficult at best (long knife, wrist rocket and staff at hand), so a gun there has a better argument. Still not worth the risk in my book…
        Uncle Jack did get lulled… He was a wonderful, lovable, grouchy old coot who got suckered by three girls with a story of a broken down car looking for a phone and some water, 6 miles from the nearest town. He made the mistake of mentioning that the Springfield ’03 on the wall was his from WWI, and loaded, when one of the girls expressed interest in his war decorations.
        Thanks for all your input on this one!
        ~ed

         

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