Wednesday was a wild day in the Fast and Furious congressional investigation and subsequent Justice Department controversy. Voting along party lines, the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee cited Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress, setting up a full House vote next week unless there is some resolution between Holder and Congress regarding documents requested by the House Committee eight months ago which concern how the Justice Department learned that there were problems with an Arizona probe of gun-running into Mexico. President Obama attempted to avoid the committee vote one last time this morning when he granted Holder Executive Privilege in the case.
Committee Chairman Issa and fellow Republicans pushed through though, as Rep. Trey Gowdy introduced a successful amendment that made sure that the record stated that the committee was aware of Obama’s decision to assert Executive Privilege, before proceeding to vote 23-17 in favor of holding Holder in contempt of Congress.
"The President’s assertion of Executive Privilege this morning took us by surprise but did not alter the Committee’s conclusion that documents had been inappropriately withheld," Rep. Issa said in a statement after the vote. "Executive Privilege only applies to materials that directly pertain to communications with the President and his senior advisors. This assertion indicates that the White House’s role in Operation Fast and Furious and the response to whistleblower accusations has been greater than previously acknowledged.”
The White House was unsurprisingly ticked off with the actions of House Republicans and tried to divert attention away from the investigation.
"Instead of creating jobs or strengthening the middle-class, congressional Republicans are spending their time on a politically motivated, taxpayer-funded election-year fishing expedition," Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told AP.
A lot happened regarding the Justice Department and Fast and Furious congressional investigation Wednesday, and to help break it all down, Oversight Committee member and Republican Rep. James Lankford joined "Real News." Watch a clip below where the panel discussed what exactly happened today, what the unprecedented move to claim executive privilege means, and where the investigation and actions against Holder may go: