Lawmakers Move Toward Citing Holder for Contempt

Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, (wife Sharon Malone in background) on Capitol Hill prior to the committee's hearing on his nomination.
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By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House Committee is preparing a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder as it applies pressure for more documents from a flawed gun-tracking operation.

An official of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Friday a final decision on issuing the citation hasn't been made. The official, who wasn't authorized to be quoted by name on the subject, said the citation could be avoided if the Justice Department produces documents sought by the committee.

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The committee has subpoenaed nearly two dozen categories of documents on the Fast and Furious operation, but no documents have been produced from a dozen of those categories, the official said.

In Operation Fast and Furious, U.S. agents hoping to track weapons allowed hundreds of guns to flow from U.S. gun shops in Arizona into Mexico. Two of the guns were later discovered at the scene of the killing of a U.S. border agent.

The Justice Department on April 19 wrote committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., saying it was regularly producing requested documents.

"We have provided documents to the committee at least twice every month since late last year as part of the department's ongoing efforts to comply with the committee's subpoenas and other requests for information," wrote Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich.

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"In addition to producing or making available over 7,300 pages of documents to the committee, we have provided briefings for the committee staff as requested, and have facilitated staff interviews of numerous department officials."

The department will continue its rolling production of documents, Weich said.

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