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Committee Democrats File Official Views Opposing Issa Contempt Citation

Jun 23, 2012
Press Release
Minority Views Find AG Contempt Citation Extreme, Unprecedented, and Politically Motivated

Washington, DC —On Wednesday, all Democratic Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted unanimously to reject the contempt citation proposed by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa against Attorney General Eric Holder.  The Democrats—who represent districts in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vermont, Virginia, Iowa, Missouri, and California, among others—concluded that holding the Attorney General in contempt would be an extreme, unprecedented action based on partisan election-year politics rather than the facts uncovered during the investigation.

Last night, Committee Democrats filed their official “Minority Views” that will be incorporated into the final report that goes to the House floor next week.  These views concluded that:

  • The Committee’s contempt vote on June 20, 2012, was the culmination of one of the most highly politicized congressional investigations in decades. 
  • Numerous commentators and editorial boards have criticized Chairman Issa’s recent actions as “a monstrous witch hunt,” “a pointless partisan fight,” and “dysfunctional Washington as usual.”
  • During the Committee’s 16-month investigation, the Committee refused all Democratic requests for witnesses and hearings.
  • The Committee’s investigation of ATF gunwalking operations has been characterized by a series of unfortunate and unsubstantiated allegations against the Obama Administration that turned out to be inaccurate.
  • The Committee has repeatedly shifted the goalposts in this investigation after failing to find evidence to support its unsubstantiated allegations.
  • The documents at issue in the Contempt Citation are not related to the Committee’s investigation into how gunwalking was initiated and utilized in Operation Fast and Furious.
  • The Committee failed to honor its Constitutional responsibility to avoid unnecessary conflict with the Executive Branch by seeking reasonable accommodations when possible.

Last week, the Committee flatly rejected a fair and reasonable offer made by the Attorney General to provide additional internal deliberative documents sought by the Committee in exchange for a good faith commitment toward resolving the contempt dispute.

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Minority Views to Contempt Report 06-22-12 Final
112th Congress