The Ticket

Holder and Issa to meet Tuesday night ahead of contempt vote

The Ticket

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Issa and Holder meet for a hearing in February (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) are expected to meet Tuesday evening ahead of a scheduled Wednesday vote by the House Oversight Committee to hold Holder in contempt of Congress over Operation Fast and Furious.

But Issa, chairman of the committee, made clear in a letter to Holder Monday night that he's unwilling to budge from his bottom line.

"... Only the delivery of documents outlined and offered by the Department of Justice last Thursday to staff will be sufficient to justify a postponement of Wednesday's scheduled vote," Issa wrote. Issa said the best case scenario for Holder on Tuesday night is a postponement of the vote while the committee reviews any new information from the DOJ, including what documents the department actually possesses and what they are willing to release.

Issa said his committee room will be made available at 5 p.m. for their meeting.

Holder and Issa have been corresponding about reaching a potential compromise following the committee's June 11 decision to schedule a contempt vote June 20 over the Justice Department's refusal to release documents subpoenaed in the committee's investigation of Fast and Furious. That operation oversaw the sale of guns to small arms dealers with the intent to track Mexican drug cartels. But the government lost track of most of the guns involved in the operation, and others have been discovered at the scene of violent crimes.

Congressional Republicans, led by Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), have been working to hold the government accountable and investigate why the operation was a failure.

Issa has long targeted the Justice Department over Fast and Furious. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) came out in support of holding the contempt vote, as did as National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and other Republicans.

The Obama administration and many Democrats, including the committee's ranking Democrat, Elijah Cummings (Md.), have lined up in support of Holder.

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