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GOP, Barack Obama Set for Showdown

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (center) presided over a contempt vote of Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday. Moments after the 23-17 vote, Speaker John Boehner scheduled a floor vote on the matter for next week.

To make his case, Issa read aloud from the book “When Congress Comes Calling,” citing a passage that asserts executive privilege is restricted to communications between the president and his staff.

Democrats on the panel, led by ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), criticized Issa’s investigation and urged the California Republican to at least delay the contempt proceedings in light of the executive privilege assertion.

The contempt vote came after a last-minute meeting in the Capitol between and Issa and Holder failed to bridge the impasse.

Holder said he offered to produce a key category of documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe but only if releasing the documents absolved Issa’s demands for a broader set of documents that have been subpoenaed.

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