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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.