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Rep. Darrell Issa and his fellow House Republicans have taken their first formal steps toward contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder for what they say is a "refusal to cooperate" with a congressional investigation into the Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.
Politico reports that Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, began circulating a draft of the contempt complaint on Thursday that sharply criticizes the Justice Department's response to his committee's investigation into the botched gun program.
"For over a year, the Department has issued false denials, given answers intended to misdirect investigators, sought to intimidate witnesses, unlawfully withheld subpoenaed documents, and waited to be confronted with indisputable evidence before acknowledging uncomfortable facts," the complaint reads. "'Operation Fast and Furious' outrageous tactics, the Justice Department’s refusal to fully cooperate with the investigation, and efforts to smear and retaliate against whistleblowers have tainted the institutional integrity of the Justice Department."
The Justice Department responded to the news by again stressing that they've been responsive to Issa's requests for documents related to the operation, withholding only those documents pertaining to ongoing criminal investigations. The department also noted that Holder has testified on Fast and Furious at least seven times in the past year and a half.