House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Attorney General Eric Holder’s dismissive reaction to last year’s congressional contempt citation over Operation Fast and Furious is a textbook example of why Washington is so dysfunctional.
“It’s something that I think was unfortunate. I think it’s a result of this kind of partisan sport that I think we engage in here in Washington far too often,” Holder told ABC News of the House vote, in which 17 Democrats joined Republicans to hold the AG in contempt.
“But I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” Holder said. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”
Holder was accused of obscuring facts in the gunwalking scandal and withholding requested documents from Issa’s committee.
“Attorney General Holder’s admission that he does not respect the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who voted to hold him in contempt offers a window into why Washington is so dysfunctional,” said Issa. “President Obama once campaigned as someone who wanted to bring America together but instead appointed divisive and highly partisan figures like Attorney General Holder who are arrogantly dismissive of those who question them and demand transparency.”
“Finding out why the Justice Department made false denials about Operation Fast and Furious, and only corrected the record after ten months of public pressure, is a legitimate exercise of congressional authority.The Attorney General clearly believes he is above the law and is not accountable to the duly elected representatives of the American people or the institutions of our democracy.”