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article imageDemocrats gun shy on Eric Holder

By Larry Clifton     Jun 27, 2012 in Politics
Washington - President Barack Obama recently claimed executive privilege over Fast and Furious government gunrunning documents but that may not save his embattled attorney general, Eric Holder, from being held in contempt of Congress.
Adding to Holder’s political problems, Democrats are starting to join Republicans who plan to officially hold him in contempt of Congress for concealing information from congressional investigators, according to a Fox News report.
The latest Democrats to indicate they might hold Holder in contempt for withholding details about the operation responsible for the death of one U.S. Border Patrol agent and an undetermined number of Mexicans are Reps. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and John Barrow, D-Ga.
"While Republicans and Democrats argue over the scope of the people's right to know what happened, the Attorney General has decided to withhold relevant documents," Barrow said in a statement. "The only way to get to the bottom of what happened is for the Department of Justice to turn over the remaining documents, so that we can work together to ensure this tragedy never happens again."
Utah Rep. Jim Matheson also released a statement announcing he would support the GOP-led vote.
"Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the attorney general in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable," Matheson said.
The public, Congress and the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry -- whose murder scene included weapons from the botched anti-gunrunning operation -- "deserve answers," Matheson said.
Issa's claim over the weekend on "Fox News Sunday" that the vote will be "bipartisan" rings truer each time another Democrat turns on Holder, and indirectly, the President. However, The Obama administration will likely increase pressure on Democratic lawmakers to support Holder between now and Thursday.
Last week House Speaker John Boehner said "we are going to proceed" after administration officials on Tuesday sought to work out a deal that Republicans considered lacking in substance.
"This was a good faith effort to resolve this while still protecting the institutional prerogatives of the Executive Branch, often championed by these same Republicans criticizing us right now," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. "Unfortunately Republicans have opted for political theater rather than conduct legitimate Congressional oversight."
For his part, Matheson's re-election campaign is on shaky footing and he is the only Democrat from Utah in Congress.
In 2010, many Democrats who supported the administration’s health care overhaul in the face of polling that showed the bill was unpopular lost their seats in a Republican landslide election.
Many prominent Democrats struggling with vulnerable re-election bids this year are nervous about supporting Mr. Obama’s Nixonian cover up of fast and Furious documents from Congress.
Meanwhile, Sen. Claire McCaskille (D-Mo) has joined a growing number of Democrats who have announced they will not attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte where President Obama will accept his uncontested nomination.
More about Fast and furious scandal, Attorney general eric holder, Obama, government gunrunning
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