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House Dems Break Ranks, Announce They'll Vote Holder in Contempt

House Dems Break Ranks, Announce They'll Vote Holder in Contempt

Fox News: 'Roughly 20' Democrats likely to vote in favor

Eric Holder contempt

At least four House Democrats have announced they are backing the Republican-led effort to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on Thursday over documents related to the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), John Barrow (D-Ga.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) have joined Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) in announcing they will support the vote.

"While Republicans and Democrats argue over the scope of the people's right to know what happened, the Attorney General has decided to withhold relevant documents," Barrow said in a statement, according to Fox News. "The only way to get to the bottom of what happened is for the Department of Justice to turn over the remaining documents, so that we can work together to ensure this tragedy never happens again."

Fox News reported Rahall and Barrow would supporting the contempt vote. Peterson announced his intention to Politico.

As The Blaze previously reported, Matheson was one of the first Democrats to publicly announce he would back the contempt vote, calling Holder's "evasiveness" in the Fast and Furious investigation "unacceptable."

“Utahns expect and deserve transparency and accountability from government officials, especially when a tragedy such as the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent occurs. It just compounds the tragedy when both sides play politics instead of releasing the facts,” Matheson said in a statement. “Sadly, it seems that it will take holding the Attorney General in contempt to communicate that evasiveness is unacceptable. It is a vote I will support."

It's unclear precisely how many Democrats will ultimately join the effort. The vote on the contempt resolution last week by House Oversight Committee members was split strictly along party lines, with 23 Republicans in favor and 17 Democrats against.

According to the Charleston, W.Va. Gazette, Rahall is also among a group of Democrats who will be skipping the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. this summer. A statement from his campaign spokesman said Rahall would be spending time instead in West Virginia with his constituents. Rahall has said he would support President Barack Obama's re-election, according to the Gazette, but has criticized him on some issues, including immigration.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), facing a tough re-election bid, is another Democrat who will be skipping the convention. A McCaskill aide told Talking Points Memo the senator has historically not gone to the convention in years when she is on the ballot.

According to ABC News, Montana Sen. Jon Tester, Pennsylvania Rep. Mark Critz, and New York Reps. Kathy Hochul and Bill Owens are other sitting lawmakers who will not be attending the convention.

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