Last ditch effort by White House to avoid Holder contempt vote fails
The White House showed about 30 of the subpoened documents to House Republicans yesterday, but failed to satisfy chairman Issa. This clears the way for a vote on AG Holder's contempt charge tomorrow.
A House Republican official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, said White House and Justice Department representatives met and showed the GOP staff less than 30 pages of documents related to the aftermath of the botched gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious.
The GOP official said the administration also promised to provide hundreds of pages of documents, but only if House Republicans would stop the contempt effort and end their investigation. A House committee currently is looking into administration actions taken after the Justice Department provided inaccurate information to Congress on the gun-tracking operation.
The Justice Department has said the offer of more documents - originally made last week - was not an effort to shut down the investigation but rather an offer to resolve the outstanding subpoena issues and thereby avoid contempt.
The GOP official said the latest document offer was rejected and no further meetings were scheduled.
"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 GOP official said.
The GOP is also after information that would explain why a letter from the Justice Department last February was suddenly "withdrawn" months later with little explanation. Some of those documents should shed light on internal DoJ discussions about what Holder knew and when he knew it with regards to Fast and Furious.
Some Democrats will probably vote for Holder's contempt charge as well. The NRA has made it a key issue for their congressional ratings, which means that perhaps as many as a half dozen or more Dems will give the contempt charge a flavor of bi-partisanship.