Entries in contempt (4)


Eric Holder’s Contempt for Contempt

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Eric Holder shrugged off the House’s move to hold him in contempt last year because he didn’t respect the votes by those who chose to do so.

In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview on Wednesday, ABC News’ Pierre Thomas asked Holder how he reacted when House Republicans voted with 17 Democrats to hold him in contempt of Congress last June over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ “Fast and Furious” gun scandal.

“It’s something that I think was unfortunate,” Holder said.  “I think it’s a result of this kind of partisan sport that I think we engage in here in Washington far too often.”

Holder said the votes didn’t bother him, considering who cast them.

“But I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” he told ABC News.  “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”

All but three House Republicans voted to hold Holder in contempt.  Two of them, Reps. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., have since left Congress -- meaning Holder does (or did) not respect most of the current Republican House delegation.

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., voted against holding Holder in contempt, and House Speaker John Boehner didn’t vote, meaning Holder’s blanket statement does not apply to those two.

At issue was Holder’s compliance with a House subpoena to turn over documents related to the ATF’s Fast and Furious program to disseminate and track guns in Mexico.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., spearheaded the crusade against Holder and the Fast and Furious program, repeatedly accusing the attorney general of obscuring facts and refusing to comply with his investigation, and insinuating that top officials at the department, including Holder, likely knew about the program before terminating it.

The Justice Department maintained that it had consistently complied with Issa’s requests and that it had produced every kind of document typically handed over under such circumstances.

Holder took another jab at Republicans when asked about the current partisan stalemate over deficit reduction and the looming automatic budget cuts, which Holder says will interfere with vital law-enforcement missions and endanger U.S. security.

When asked about how much of the blame Obama’s administration deserves, Holder said he wasn’t sure “it’s an awful lot.”

“I mean, I think this president came into office with the notion that he wanted to change how Washington does business.  I think this president has extended his hand on any number of occasions,” he said.

“And I think we’ve seen too often the opposition not being what I would call a responsible opposition party, but a part that simply is opposed to anything the president has wanted to do,” Holder said.  “And I think that has led to partisan gridlock that the American people are not satisfied with and that frankly does not serve the interests of this nation.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


House Prepares for Holder Contempt Vote

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives is currently in the midst of a partisan debate on a resolution to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding certain documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.

A vote on the criminal contempt resolution is expected by 4 p.m. this afternoon.

If the vote passes, as expected, it would mark the first time in the history of Congress that it has found a sitting U.S. attorney general in contempt of Congress.

Later, the House will vote on a second civil contempt resolution, which authorizes the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce its subpoena.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boehner Charges Ahead on Contempt Resolution for Holder

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a last-ditch appeal by the White House fell flat Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters this morning that he will proceed on a vote Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for withholding certain documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.

“The United States government ran a gunrunning operation that has resulted in hundreds of deaths,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “Brian Terry’s family has a right to know what happened. The American people have a right to know what happened and we’re going to proceed.”

The contempt resolution passed out of committee strictly down party lines and the debate Thursday promises to be a bitter dispute as well. Propounding the partisanship is the National Rifle Association, which announced last week it “will consider this vote in our future candidate evaluations.” While that warning could persuade some Democrats to vote with the GOP, Boehner said the NRA has “no role” in the contempt vote as far as he’s concerned, but rather the unprecedented move “is about getting to the truth.”

“This vote was scheduled last week and … we’d really rather not be there,” he said. “We’d really rather have the attorney general and the president work with us to get to the bottom of a very serious issue.”

Later, the House Committee on Rules met to consider the contempt resolution “for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the committee on Oversight and Government Reform.”

“Unfortunately, they’re not willing to show the American people the truth about what happened,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate place where we are but our members raise their right hand and swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the United States and we’re going to do our job.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Republicans Threaten Missing Dems with Contempt

Photo Courtesy - Mark Hirsch/Getty Images(MADISON, Wis.) -- The Wisconsin standoff escalated a notch Thursday when Senate Republicans threatened to hold their missing Democratic colleagues in contempt if they don’t return to the chamber in Madison by 4 p.m. Central time Thursday.  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said, “They’re insulting the very fabric of our representative democracy.”  The 14 Senate Democrats have been hiding out in Illinois since February 17th to stall a vote on Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to dismantle collective bargaining for state employee unions.  Fitzgerald said the Democrats could be taken into custody if they enter Wisconsin.  Attorneys who drafted the contempt order point to precedents including the U.S. Capitol Police carrying “Senator Bob Packwood feet first into the Senate chamber” when the Senate ordered the arrest of absent senators to fulfill a quorum during a campaign finance debate in 1988.

Democratic Senator Spencer Coggs told ABC News the stalemate “has taken an ugly turn” and that Republicans were attempting to be “punitive” instead of negotiating in good faith. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio