Jun 11, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Hill: The Department of Justice blasted Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Monday for playing “political games at the expense of all Americans.”
The DOJ’s comments were in response to the powerful Oversight chairman’s announcement that he plans to move forward next week with a resolution placing Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
A spokeswoman for Holder said the move by Issa was “unwarranted” and ran counterproductive to the discussions agency officials have been having with Issa’s staff on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the subpoenaed documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation that are at issue.
“As recently as a few days ago, the Department staff and Committee staff were discussing a way toward a resolution of this matter,” said Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the DOJ, in a statement on Monday.
“The Attorney General and the Department of Justice will remain focused on the critical job of protecting this nation and the American people while Chairman Issa continues to play these political games at the expense of all Americans,” Schmaler said.
The contempt action has been contemplated for weeks, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) threw his support behind the politically sensitive move in a statement on Monday.
“The Justice Department is out of excuses,” Boehner said. “Either the Justice Department turns over the information requested, or Congress will have no choice but to move forward with holding the Attorney General in contempt for obstructing an ongoing investigation.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also weighed in with his support.
“Assuming Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall, we will have no choice but to hold him in contempt for his failure to provide the documents necessary to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again,” Cantor said.