Issa Still Wants Contempt Citation for Holder

Monday, 14 May 2012 08:08 AM

By Greg McDonald

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House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is renewing his effort to drum up bipartisan support for a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder, despite little enthusiasm from GOP leaders.

According to Roll Call, the California Republican is still angry over Holder’s failure to turn over documents related to the committee’s investigation of the federal Fast and Furious gun-tracking program.

Even though House Speaker John Boehner has said, “All options are on the table,” when it comes to the committee investigation, Roll Call noted he stopped short last week of endorsing a contempt citation.

Despite his public praise for Issa’s efforts to learn more about the controversial operation, the newspaper said “behind the scenes” Boehner and other top House GOP leaders are worried about the political impact a contempt resolution could have in an election year.

“With the other issues, the economy and everything else, I think they would like to focus on that,” Republican Rep. Dan Burton, a former chairman of the committee, told Roll Call.

“I don’t think they’re opposed to going ahead with the contempt citation; it’s just that if we can get the Justice Department to move without having to move it, they would probably prefer that.”

But a GOP aide suggested to Roll Call there is also concern that going after Holder, the first black attorney general under the first black president, could create a racial backlash against Republicans.

“Especially after Trayvon,” this aide told Roll Call, in a reference to the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

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