INTERNATIONAL NEWS
June 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

In an unprecedented move, US lawmakers Thursday voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, paving the way for legal action over a probe into a botched gun-running scheme.

Several furious Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi, the party's top member in the House of Representatives, stormed out of the chamber at the start of the vote.

They were protesting what they say is highly political and partisan action by Republicans to discredit Holder and President Barack Obama's administration ahead of the November elections.

But the resolution was adopted with a vote of 255-67 in the Republican-led House. Several dozen Democrats refused to participate, but several more also voted to find the nation's top justice official in contempt.

The resolution calls for the case to be referred to a US attorney tasked with bringing a possible indictment against Holder for blocking a 16-month investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

The House was to vote on a second resolution on civil contempt, which would authorize a congressional panel to sue the Justice Department in federal court to compel officials to relinquish documents subpoenaed by Republican investigators.

The finding of contempt, the first-ever for a sitting attorney general, was immediately branded by the White House as a "transparently political stunt."

"Republicans pushed for political theater rather than legitimate congressional oversight," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, a politically-motivated agenda prevailed and instead of engaging with the president in efforts to create jobs and grow the economy, today we saw the House of Representatives perform a transparently political stunt."

Launched in Arizona by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Fast and Furious was a sting operation designed to track weapons bought by straw buyers and smuggled to Mexican drug cartels.

But a large number of the arms went missing, and two were later found at the murder scene of a US border patrol agent.

Republican Darrell Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee which led the investigation, is seeking to discover who in the government knew about the operation and when, and whether there was a Justice Department cover-up.

AFP

Wiggle


PREVIOUS STORY
Obama claims 'victory' as health reforms stand
NEXT STORY
Republicans vow to fight on against 'Obamacare'

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Families grateful for vigil prayersThe families of the 45 Fijian soldiers that were detained for two weeks by the Al Nusra Front are grateful to the people of Fiji and the different denominations for their thoughts in prayers.
BUSINESS
No repeat of 2000 burning, businesses toldFiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has assured the business community that the events of the 2000 coup where some businesses were looted and burned down will not be repeated in this year's election.
SPORTS
Ra to host fourth Farebrother ChallengeThe fourth HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge between Nadroga and Naitasiri North Bulls will be held at the Ra Sports Ground this Saturday.
TECHNOLOGY
Vodafone Fiji, Tonga telco in allianceVodafone Fiji and Tonga Communications Corporation today signed a strategic partnership alliance that will allow the Tongan company to leverage off the experience of their Fijian counterparts.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
Meherban new love song from BangBang out nowMeherbaan is the second track released from upcoming movie Bang Bang this week.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS