Thirty-one Democrats are expected to side with Congressional Republicans to hold United States Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, because he refused to turn over documents in the ongoing investigation into the Justice Department's Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced Monday that it will convene on June 20 to consider such actions against Holder. The contempt citation is a means to force Holder into compliance and does not blame him for the botched operation.
I expect we'll have about 31 Democrats with us, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told BuzzFeed.
Fast and Furious was a federal operation that allowed weapons from the United States to move to Mexico through suspected smugglers. This was so that law enforcement officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the operation, could trace the weapons back to higher-ups in the Mexican drug cartels. However, the bureau lost track of hundreds of the weapons, and many of the guns have been linked to crimes, including the shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
Despite what the investigation has uncovered through whistleblowers and documents the Justice Department had tried to hide, the committee's work is not yet complete, Issa said in a statement.
He added that Holder has failed to meet his legal obligations set forth in the Oct. 12, 2011, subpoena.
Specifically, the Justice Department has refused to turn over critical documents on the grounds that they show internal department deliberations and were created after February 4, 2011 -- the date Justice issued a false denial to Congress, he said.
Holder has testified several times about Fast and Furious on Capitol Hill.