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UPDATE: It took a little longer than promised, but House Republicans voted Wednesday afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.
The Oversight Committee vote came hours after the White House claimed executive privilege over the records in question, a move that did little to deter the panel's Republicans. The vote broke down along straight party lines, 23-17.
Politico explains what comes next: "The next step would be a vote of the full House, but a floor vote is not expected before next week, Republican aides said."
Wednesday, June 20 at 11:20 a.m.: The White House stepped fully into the fray of the Fast and Furious standoff Wednesday morning, granting Attorney General Eric Holder executive privilege, CBS News reports.
The executive privilege essentially overrides Issa's subpoena for documents related to the House investigation of the gun-walking sting operation. According to the White House, CBS News says, this is the first time Obama has used executive privilege.
But the move looks unlikely to stop a contempt vote scheduled for Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. Committee Chairman Issa responded to Obama's decision by saying that it “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
Holder had previously urged Obama to use executive privilege in the Fast and Furious investigation, citing the "significant, damaging consequences" he says sharing internal documents with legislators would create.
Wednesday, June 20: House Oversight Chairman Darell Issa and his fellow Republicans are expected to vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, a move Politico is calling the GOP's "most direct conflict" to date with the Obama’s administration over the extent of executive power.
Republicans on the oversight panel are investigating the Justice Department's disastrous Fast and Furious gun-walking sting operation, and Issa and Holder have been in a standoff over which documents the administration will give to the panel for their investigation. After the two failed to resolve the situation on Tuesday, Issa said that the committee will push forward with the contempt vote unless some of the documents in question are handed over by the start of the committee's 10 a.m. meeting.
As Politico notes, Democrats have accused the GOP of "moving the goal posts" in the investigation. Holder has reportedly agreed to hand over more documents and brief the committee, as long as Issa drops the contempt threat. But Issa reportedly won't drop the contempt threat until he gets the documents.
The Justice Department has repeatedly stressed that they've been responsive to Issa's requests for documents related to the operation, withholding only those documents pertaining to ongoing criminal investigations. Holder has testified on Fast and Furious at least seven times in the past year.
CNN explains that Issa has accused the DOJ of stonewalling his committee's investigation both into Fast and Furious, and into erroneous information provided to Congress by the department concerning the investigation.