Frustrated by his apparent stonewalling on the fatally flawed Operation Fast and Furious, an increasing number of lawmakers are looking to slap Attorney General Eric Holder with a contempt-of-Congress charge.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the point man of the House investigation, has drafted a 48-page contempt of Congress citation for Holder.
The citation will accuse Holder and the DOJ of obstructing the congressional probe into allegations that the government let thousands of weapons fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, according to CBS News.
This report was later confirmed by a House Committee spokesperson, who released the following statement to The Daily Caller:
“The Justice Department has not fully cooperated with the investigation into gunwalking that occurred in Operation Fast and Furious. The House Oversight Committee continues to make necessary preparations to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt if the Justice Department refuses to change course and stop blocking access to critical documents.”
Investigators have subpoenaed over 70,000 internal documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. Of those 70,000, the Justice department has only provided approximately 6,400 — many of which were heavily redacted or blacked out.
At a recent House Oversight Committee hearing, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind) asked Holder about those unreleased documents.
“There are things in those documents that you don’t want us to see,” Burton said.
“There’s no attempt at any kind of cover-up,” Holder responded. “We’re not going to be hiding behind any kind of privileges or anything.”
The 48-page citation is the official first step in a series of contempt proceedings. There have been conflicting reports about what happens next, but according to the House spokesperson, the Oversight Committee will determine whether or not to proceed.
Delivering a contempt-of-Congress charge against the executive branch is a politically risky move, especially if it doesn’t succeed, according to some Washington insiders. Consequently, reports say that Rep. Issa and other government officials have been working hard behind the scenes to build up support for the citation’s formal release.
As far as a timetable is concerned, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) – who serves on the House committee leading the investigation – has indicated that Holder has until Memorial Day to comply investigator’s requests.
“Before Memorial Day, Eric Holder will either comply or he will suffer consequences,” Gowdy told Fox News on Thursday. “When I say consequences, I mean contempt of Congress.”
So far, no one in the government has been held accountable for Fast and Furious, despite the fact that the death of at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent is directly linked to the gunwalking operation.
For updates, stay tuned to Guns.com. To read more on contempt of Congress proceedings, check out this CBS News Report.