House votes to hold Attorney General in contempt of Congress

Updated:

Washington, D.C. —

The U.S. House has passed a resolution to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on a largely party-line vote. The House voted to cite Holder for refusing to turn over documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform in relation to an investigation into the "Fast and Furious" program. A number of Democratic representatives walked off the House floor in protest of the proceedings. Seventeen Democrats did vote in favor of the citation, but more than 100 refused to vote on the matter.

The Fast & Furious investigation is looking into whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms deliberately allowed guns to fall into the hands of drug cartels in Mexico in an effort to track how they are smuggled to criminal groups. Contempt citations rarely result in any form of actual punishment. While the citations are usually referred to a U.S. Attorney to present before a grand jury, administrations have historically invoked privileges that they argue don't compel them to prosecute.