Jun 24, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Hill: House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) predicted Sunday that Republicans and Democrats would vote to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress this week.
“I believe they will, both Republicans and Democrats will vote that,” Issa said on Fox News Sunday. “There are a number of Democrats, 31, who wrote to the administration asking them to be forthcoming. Many of them will stay with us now that the administration has not been.”
Issa has previously said as many as 31 Democrats could vote to place Holder in contempt, but no Democrats on his committee last week voted with Republicans.
Issa said it was still possible for Holder to avoid a contempt charge.
He said if President Obama and Holder “would simply start producing the documents they know they could produce to us that are not by any means going to be covered by executive privilege, this could be delayed or even eliminated.”
Issa said House Republicans would have to see the documents before delaying or cancelling a contempt vote.
“We can’t have a promise that we’re going to be satisfied and dismiss this contempt,” he said.
His committee is looking for deliberations within the department after it told Congress in February of 2011 that its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not knowingly allow assault weapon sales to organized crime elements in Mexico.
In a separate appearance on ABC, Issa said that if the documents say what Holder says they say, the contempt vote could even be dismissed.
“If those documents say what Eric Holder says they say, we might, in fact, dismiss contempt in — in either case,” Issa said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“But I can tell you one thing here. If we get documents that do show — cast some doubt or allow us to understand this, we’ll at least delay contempt and continue the process,” Issa said.
Issa made appearances on three Sunday morning talk show to discuss the upcoming contempt vote, which poses opportunities and challenges for his party.
Conservatives have pressed for House leaders to allow the contempt vote to go forward, but some Republicans think the focus on the issue could end up helping Obama by turning the political discussion away from the economy.