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“The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics,” Issa wrote in an announcement of the vote to be released shortly. It will reveal the vote is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.

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  1. doesnt the supreme court issue the ACA verdict this week, too? could be some shockwaves here.

    holder’s testimony shows that he is either lying or extremely incompetant. or an extremely incompetant liar.

    • Or his arrogance causes him to not GARA how transparent his lies are. He doth overestimate his own abilities, methinks. I hope Congress both here and hence pursues him.

    • Historically, people are held in contempt for the same reason as here, for withholding documents and/or testimony. In virtually all cases, the documents were released to Congress after the committee votes to hold the person(s) in contempt, but before it goes to the full House for consideration. That’s what one would hope would also happen in this case. The committee votes, proving they’re serious, and the information is provided before the full House can consider and vote, because at that point criminal penalties can be attached. However, if the criminal penalties (and other fallout) that could result from the revealed information are more significant than those for the contempt charge, it’s possible that the information could continue to be withheld and the chips fall where they may.

      The last three contempt votes held were Janet Reno in 1998, Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten in 2007, and Karl Rove in 2008. In Reno’s case, consideration by the full House never happened because the information Congress wanted was revealed in Clinton’s impeachment proceedings. In the cases of Miers, Bolten, and Rove, litigation is still ongoing.

      • Is legislative contempt the same as contempt of court, where the judge can essentially jail you indefinitely until you do what he wants? Are there any limits to presidential pardons or could Obama just lol @ congress and bust Holder out of jail?

        • Contempt of Congress with respect to Holder is probably not a pardonable offense since it would be civil in nature — like most contempt of court citations that are also considered civil in nature.

          Penalties under statute are a fine of $100 to $1000 and imprisonment for one to 12 months. I don’t believe that anyone has been imprisoned for Contempt of Congress since the 1930s.

          If the Committee votes to indict, the whole House must agree. If it does or seems likely to, then compromise is likely. The Executive branch and the House will work out something that avoids a showdown and the resulting Constitutional crisis. Such a showdown would be in nobody’s best interest.

        • Huh? How can you be jailed for a civil violation? I thought you could only go to jail for criminal offenses? Anything you can recommend I read online for more info?

        • Wikipedia has a page on it. According to that page, someone from the EPA was sentenced to 6 months in prison in 1983, and probation thereafter.

        • matt, a judge can imprison someone for withholding information or documents, and it’s considered civil and not criminal. It’s a tool for persuading the recalcitrant to disclose what they’ve been ordered to disclose.

          Why civil? Because if it was criminal, there would need to be a trial, which would mean several more years of delay.

          The typical “sentence” for contempt is the term of the court. Think of Barry Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, who wouldn’t give Bonds up and was sent to the cooler for the duration of the Grand Jury investigation.

        • I’m still confused, even with civil actions aren’t you supposed to have a right to trial, even for administrative violations like a parking ticket?

        • “even with civil actions aren’t you supposed to have a right to trial?”

          I can’t say whether there is a right to trial, but the speedier remedy in the contempt situation is a writ of habeas corpus. At least that’s what I’ve seen.

  2. EH will be known by history as just another ego-tripping power-hungry corrupt crook who held political office.

  3. This reminds me of a character in the old Abbott & Costello Show who used to say “I’ll harm you!” just before he’d pinch Costello on his arm.

    Enjoy the comedy show.

  4. MSNBC just changed their headline from stating Congress was going after EH to House GOPers doing it. In their piece, they barely allude to F&F and give it a one liner.


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