Today after 100 House Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), walked out in protest the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of holding Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress on a 255 to 67 vote. Seventeen Democrats voted with Republicans to find Holder in contempt. Two Republicans, Congressmen Steve LaTourette (R-OH) and Scott Rigell (R-VA) joined with the Democrats who stayed and voted against the measure.
Last week the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted in favor of the measure opening the door for the entire House to vote on the measure. Holder was charged after with contempt of Congress after refusing to release documents related to Operation Fast & Furious that were subpoenaed by the committee. Holder cited executive privilege which was vigorously argued against by Republicans.
The contempt charge is now referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for enforcement of the subpoena. The question is will this charge actually be prosecuted? I’m not holding my breath. It is more likely that House Republicans will go forward with civil charges and sue the Department of Justice which could be more likely to succeed. Though I won’t hold my breath on that either.