Last-Ditch Efforts to Avoid Contempt of Congress Vote Against AG Holder Fail
Bret Baier just announced on Special Report that last-ditch efforts to avert the contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder have failed.
WASHINGTON – A pair of last-ditch meetings between the Obama administration and House Republicans failed to avert a scheduled contempt vote for Attorney General Eric Holder over the 'Fast and Furious' documents dispute.
A source familiar with the talks told Fox News that the Republicans met with administration officials twice Tuesday -- at the Justice Department and at the White House. The Justice Department showed GOP staff 14 documents on the failed anti-gunrunning operation, totaling about 30 pages.
House Oversight Committee Chairman and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa wants internal communications from February 2011, when the administration denied knowledge of gun-walking, to the end of that year, when officials acknowledged the denial was erroneous. Those documents covered a period after Fast and Furious had been shut down.
The documents at the heart of the current argument are not directly related to the workings of Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed guns to "walk" from Arizona to Mexico in hopes they could be tracked. The department has given Issa 7,600 documents on the operation.
A senior administration official claimed the documents were a representative sample of what Republicans were asking for.
At the end of one of the meetings, one source told Fox News, the Justice Department offered to provide all the documents requested in exchange for an assurance that the Republicans would close their contempt bid against Holder, but the GOP staff rejected the offer.
One Republican official told the Associated Press that the offerings shown by the Justice Department in the meeting weren't enough.
"The documents that were shown today did not shed any meaningful new light on the questions and interactions that took place at the Justice Department" after whistle-blowers told Congress that Fast and Furious allowed guns bought in Arizona to "walk" into Mexico, the official said.
But the move prompted criticism from the White House.
"This was a good faith effort to resolve this while still protecting the institutional prerogatives of the Executive Branch, often championed by these same Republicans criticizing us right now," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. "Unfortunately Republicans have opted for political theater rather than conduct legitimate Congressional oversight."