WASHINGTON — Speaker John Boehner (pictured) says the House will move forward with a contempt of Congress vote Thursday against Attorney General Eric Holder over the botched gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious. The White House said Republicans are seeking to score political points.
The Ohio Republican told reporters Wednesday that last-minute talks with the White House about releasing documents had failed to avert the vote. President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege to keep the documents secret, but Republicans say there’s no basis for that.
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White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that the public would view the vote as “political theater” and “gamesmanship.”
Carney said the Justice Department and the White House on Tuesday had shown House Republicans a representative sample of the documents they were seeking. He said the administration’s offer would have provided “unprecedented access” to internal communications about how it responded to congressional inquiries into the Fast and Furious program.
The issue has political implications this election year. The National Rifle Association is keeping score, prompting some Democrats to join Republicans in voting for contempt. Such a citation would not cause the release of more documents on the operation, in which guns were allowed to “walk” from Arizona to Mexico in hopes they could be tracked.