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CHICAGO (CBS) – Two Chicago area Congressmen sit on the committee that voted to find U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. One voted in favor of the contempt citation, while the other against it.
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) called the demands of committee Republicans “a witch hunt” aimed at defeating President Barack Obama in November, and said the result of the vote was a pre-determined political maneuver.
“It was sort of like a kangaroo court,” he said. “Certainly, in the House, the Republican Party — or the Republican members — they’re really focused on the November 6 election.”
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U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said Holder and the Justice Department have done little but stonewall.
“Think about it,” he said. “Our government ordered licensed American gun dealers to sell guns — thousands of them — to Mexican drug cartels. That’s amazing on its own. And then we stop even tracing these weapons. That’s criminal.”
Walsh said he is especially troubled because the President denies having known about the Operation “Fast and Furious” gun sales, and is now claiming executive privilege, which Walsh said would indicate to the contrary.
The Arizona-based agents working on the Fast and Furious investigation lost track of many of the weapons that had been sold; it had been intended to show where the guns went and identify cartel members to arrest. Instead, the guns were used in a number of shootings, including two guns found at the scene of the murder of U.S. border agent Brian Terry.
Holder has said that the Justice Department has turned over 7,600 pages of documents. Walsh said large sections are redacted, and said the documents represent only a small percentage of what the committee has requested.
“We’ve narrowed the request down to just another 2,000 documents, and they won’t provide anything,” Walsh said. “So there’s room for them to finally give us information, so we can get to the bottom of this.”