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House of Rep. holds AG Eric Holder in contempt

AP Images
AP Images

The House of Representatives made history today by holding the first ever sitting Attorney General in contempt of Congress.

The House passed the resolution by a 255-67 vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The highly political resolution holds Holder in contempt for refusing to hand over documents related to the Fast And Furious gun walking operation.

A large group of House Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, and Rep. James Clyburn, staged a walk out in protest before the vote. The vote breakdown included 17 Democrats voting in favor of the contempt citation and two Republicans voting against.

The contempt citation does not go to the Senate for passage. Instead, it goes to the US Attorney to convene a grand jury which will decide whether or not to indict Holder.

Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement calling out political motives, saying that the vote to hold him in contempt "may make for good political theater in the minds of some, but it is - at base - both a crass effort and a grave disservice to the American people."

President Obama used executive privilege to avoid handing over Fast and Furious documents that Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darell Issa wanted to see. The White House held meetings earlier in the week with Rep. Issa and Speaker of the House John Boehner but they could not find common ground, hence the vote today.