Yesterday’s House vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over sensitive documents in the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal sparked a walkout by Democratic lawmakers, who characterized the effort as a partisan “witch hunt.”
The 108 Dems who abstained were joined by one Republican, and the vote easily passed with 255 ‘ayes’ to 67 ‘nays.’ The Holder investigation has spiraled into a political firestorm, with President Obama invoking executive privilege to protect Holder’s position and Republicans pushing back with the contempt charge.
The powerful National Rifle Association has been involved also – putting pressure on members of Congress to vote in favor of the contempt charge. The NRA charges that Holder’s anti-gun bias is a factor in Fast and Furious, a botched gun-running scheme conducted by the Department of Justice in which DOJ guns ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels and one U.S. border patrol agent was killed.
The NRA has characterized Fast and Furious as a back-door conspiracy effort by DOJ to escalate cross-border violence and thus galvanize public support for gun control. Do you think its accusations hold water? Should Holder be forced to turn over the documents? What’s the truth behind Fast and Furious?
Dennis Wagner, reporter for the Arizona Republic
Alan Gottlieb, Founder, Second Amendment Foundation
Adam Winkler, Constitutional law professor at University of California, Los Angeles; author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2011) and contributor to The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast