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I Will Not Compromise When It Comes to the Truth': Watch Rep. Gowdy Throw Down the Gauntlet for Democrats During Contempt Vote


"Our fellow citizens have a right to know the truth and we have an obligation to fight for it, Mr. Speaker, the politics be damned."

In one of the most intense and impassioned speeches you may ever hear on the House floor, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) lived up to his name of "Fast and Furious rockstar" after he absolutely blasted Democrats Thursday for refusing to put politics aside in the failed gun-walking investigation so that Congress can get the "whole truth" for the American people and the family of slain Border Agent Brian Terry.

Gowdy stepped up to speak during today's House hearing in a last-ditch effort to convince Democrats to break ranks and vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a duly issued subpoena requesting documents related to Fast and Furious. It is unclear whether his statements were responsible, but 17 Democrats supported criminal contempt charges and 21 voted for civil contempt charges against Holder.

(Related: 'Judgment Day': House Finds Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress (Including Numerous Dems))

"This is a sad day, Mr. Speaker. For those of us that respect the rule of law," Gowdy began. "For those of us who believe the same rules apply to everyone regardless of whether they live simple lives of peace and quiet or whether they live and work in the towers of power, prestige and authority, the same rules apply to everyone. It is the greatness of this country."

The congressman from South Carolina was just getting warmed up. He set his sights on Democratic lawmakers, questioning whether or not they were really interested in uncovering the truth. With every passing moment, the volume and emotion in Gowdy's voice swelled until he was practically screaming.

(Related: 'Here's the Proof!': Rep. Gowdy Raises Voice, Invokes Stephen Colbert in 6-Minute Diatribe Blasting Holder, Obama)

"For those of you who want a negotiation, a compromise, an "extraordinary accommodation,' to use the attorney general's words. For those of you who want to plea bargain -- My question to you is simply this: Will you settle for 75 percent of the truth? Is 50 percent of the truth enough for you? Is a third? Or do you want it all? Because if you want all the truth then you want all the documents." Gowdy said, raising his voice.

He said meeting with Brian Terry's family, who lost their child as a result of Fast and Furious, was a "life-altering" experience. At certain points, it sounds almost as if Gowdy gets choked up, like his emotions were getting the best of him.

"All they want is the truth," Gowdy said about the Terry family. "They want answers, they want justice and they don't want part of it, they want all of it. And I will not compromise, Mr. speaker, when it comes to the truth."

Watch the all of Gowdy's epic tirade on the House floor, below:

He went on, "Congress is right to pursue this no matter where it takes us. No matter which administration was in power and no matter what the facts are – we are right to pursue this."

Speaking directly to Democrats who made it clear they would oppose any measure to find the attorney general in contempt, Gowdy asked them, "Can you tell the American people why the Department of Justice approved this lethal, fatally flawed operation? For those of you who are voting no, can you tell the American people how the tactic of gun walking was sanctioned? To those of you who are voting no, can you tell Brian Terry's family and friends how a demonstrably false letter was written on Department of Justice letter head-on Feb 4?... That letter was written on America's stationary."

"Our fellow citizens have a right to know the truth and we have an obligation to fight for it, Mr. Speaker, the politics be damned," said Gowdy.

"I want the truth. I want all of it. We should never settle for less than all of it and we have to start, today."

Holder was found in criminal and civil contempt of Congress Thursday in a bipartisan vote that included as many as 21 Democrats.

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