The U.S. House of Representatives was expected on Thursday to debate Attorney General Eric Holder’s role in “Operation Fast and Furious” and possibly charge him with contempt for failing to turn over some documents related to a failed probe of gun-running along the U.S.-Mexico border, reported the news agency Reuters.
“If the Republican-led House declares Holder – the nation’s top law enforcement officer – in contempt of Congress, as expected, it would mark the first time a sitting attorney general has been formally accused of the crime,” said Reuters.
“Operation Fast and Furious” was aimed at tracking guns being purchased in Arizona to determine whether they flowed into Mexico for use by drug cartels. By early 2011 that investigation had been terminated after disclosures that federal agents had lost track of many of the guns, which subsequently were traced to crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
A test vote on the contempt charge is expected in early afternoon in the House with final votes anticipated by late afternoon as the chamber tries to wrap up work before a July 4 holiday recess at week’s end.
Besides the contempt of Congress charge, the House also is scheduled to vote on a resolution asking U.S. courts to force Holder to turn over a series of documents being sought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as part of its long-running investigation of Fast and Furious.
Republicans are expected to overwhelmingly vote in favor of both initiatives, says Reuters.