Legal showdown brewing after AG contempt vote
Debate over politics of House action
- Duration 5:40
- Date Jun 29, 2012
Debate over politics of House action
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This transcript is automatically generated
Right now a new legal showdown under way after the nation's top law enforcement officer is held in contempt of congress.
Attorney general Eric Holder in an unprecedented position becoming the first sitting member of a president's cabinet to be censured in this way.
This after the Obama administration and house Republicans failed to reach a compromise.
Over documents that house members want to see.
Relating to operation fast and furious both criminal and civil resolutions passed in the Republican led house.
While more than 100 Democrats boycotted the move.
And the eternal attorney general says it is all steeped in partisan politics.
Today's vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided and politically motivated investigation.
During an election year.
By advancing it over the past year and a half.
Congressman nice and others have focused on politics.
Over public safety.
Instead of trying to correct the problems that led to a series of flawed law enforcement operations.
And instead of helping us find ways to better protect these brave law enforcement agents like agent Brian Terry who keep us safe.
They have let us to this aren't necessary and unwarranted.
How -- Fox News contributor -- -- -- is a former political advisor to democratic senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.
Amos Snead is former Press Secretary to house Republican whip Roy Blunt of Missouri welcome to both of you.
-- do you first the attorney general says this is all politically motivated if so why did the committee why did -- the house gets seventeen Democrat votes in favor of this contempt citation.
Well first and foremost only the Republicans who in 20072008.
Accuse the Democrats doing this exact same thing staged a walkout and essentially you're using the same talking points.
The Democrats using today's there's Matt -- to pockets in the Republican side in this issue the Democrats don't walking lockstep.
Where their leader these Democrats obviously felt for political reasons a lot of them have set themselves.
They had no choice but to do this because they're in tough races and they -- this is going to be a political issue for them.
That's spot and that's their decision what I wanna focus on -- the complete hypocrisy by the house caucus who of course when this was George Bush's administration.
Had no problem whatsoever saying that there is no reason for executive privilege to be used.
Against anybody in the president's administration and all of a sudden now when the -- -- another but.
They're staging a lockout and -- essentially playing politics for months before election at all about politics sadly we do have a dead agents sadly we do have a policy that needs to be investigated.
They're not interested in that their interest in this well essentially created political problems for the president.
All right but -- if the attorney general had handed over the documents the house is looking -- we wouldn't be having this discussion would we.
That's correct you know attorney general holder had every opportunity to comply with the subpoena.
House Republicans even a couple weeks ago limited the amount of documents they were requesting.
And he responded in a letter he said he would hand over those documents if they agreed not to move forward with the contempt vote.
Now what happens when it was time for those documents to come up again he stonewalled and only -- over a few -- them -- house Republicans really had no choice but to hold this contempt -- yesterday.
But I do think what is important.
Is -- seventeen house Democrats voted with them.
That's -- bipartisanship vote if you look at this that's of more of a bipartisan vote that obamacare was when it was rammed through the house.
Yeah Giuliani and it it it seems like -- the attorney general really wanted to.
You know get this thing out in the open why not release the -- John what is there what is there a reason the same reason the Bush Administration didn't do it the same reason that the Reagan administration didn't do it.
The same reason that the -- administration didn't do it it's called executive privilege.
And quite frankly holder released more documents and women over backwards for this committee and for chairman I -- the problem is again.
That there is nothing that holder could have done to prevent chairman -- -- from going forward.
Because holder realizes as do most people of other reason that I -- -- this is not because he wanted to get the bottom any thank.
He wanted to make this a political issue an election year and he -- and congratulations to him are the bottom line is there you know that there is something -- -- to guys get to the and the people people need to get to the bottom of this issue not a political reasons but because of the right thing to do -- -- -- to -- -- that unfortunately well.
What are I don't know I don't know what -- -- interest -- in or not -- but again it just seems like releasing the documents would be the answer to that to the question.
Yeah I think the underlying issue here is accountability you know -- individual lost his life and our government could have played a role in that.
And today no one's been accountable so to say this is a political issue if you look at the house Democrats yesterday when they walked off the house floor.
They walked straight to the cameras they are and they are trying to make this a political issue that -- not -- return the documents over someone's hiding something in congress has a role.
To hold someone account name is that when you're working for a -- back I don't know it was during the Bush Administration when it was -- -- -- quite honestly did did you have the same feelings -- the Bush Administration -- executive privilege.
When the US attorney crisis was happening to to say the same thing when Reagan wouldn't release things under executive privilege look when the -- another foot it's very easy it all of -- -- to have righteous indignation.
And to stand up and save administrations in the wrong thing but the bottom line is these Republicans chairman ice as well as most of the house members that were there during the Bush Administration.
Not one of them said anything to the contrary -- -- this is going on to their administration.
-- give -- ten seconds to respond.
Sure absolutely if you look at what Nancy Pelosi said when they were holding the Myers contempt vote that this was an obligation of congress and then to see her.
Lead to everyone off the house floor yesterday it just screams partisan campaign politics all right we have to leave it there -- need Julie organs he thank you thank you.