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House Republicans, Holder open to talks before contempt vote

By Associated Press


WASHINGTON >> Both House Republican officials and Attorney General Eric Holder say they’re willing to negotiate an end to a potential constitutional confrontation in a dispute related to the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation.

The conflict heated up Wednesday, when a House committee voted to hold the attorney general in contempt and President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to avoid turning over some documents related to the operation.

However, House Republican leaders said they were willing to negotiate if the administration turned over more emails and memos. And Holder said Thursday that resolving the conflict through negotiation was still a possibility.

Holder, in Copenhagen, Denmark, for meetings with European Union officials, said the administration had given the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee a proposal to negotiate an end to the conflict.

“I think the possibility still exists that it can happen in that way,” Holder said. “The proposal that we have made is still there. The House, I think, the House leadership, has to consider now what they will do, so we’ll see how it works out.”

But he called the contempt vote “unwarranted, unnecessary and unprecedented.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the full House would vote next week on accepting the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s contempt of Congress vote.

Committee officials who would conduct any negotiations in the coming days for Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said they are looking for at least some additional documents on Fast and Furious — plus some “signs of good faith.”

The latter could include substantive responses to future committee requests for documents; reforming the approval process for wiretap applications; acknowledging mistakes in misleading Congress about Fast and Furious; taking whistle-blowers seriously; and producing a log of documents to be turned over, according to the officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue by name.

The administration would have to abandon the president’s assertion of executive privilege — a legal position that attempts to protect internal executive branch documents from disclosure. If the administration maintains that stance, it could lead to court fights that could take years to resolve.

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Pocho wrote:
What you hiding Eric? So much for President Barrack Obama's openness/transparency election cry of 3 years ago.
on June 21,2012 | 06:27AM
cojef wrote:
It's a power struggle or turf warfare to determine how far one is willing to go to establish who is king of the hill. Just characters whose juvenile action shows. On the other side of the coin is the sinister plot by the left-wing anti 2nd Amendment faction bent on repealing the Amendment, and was caught in their attempt. The Administration was gratutious to big donees for their political contributions, but failed when the Federal agent was slain by weapons provided in the "Fast and Furious" debacle.
on June 21,2012 | 07:45AM
stanislous wrote:
How far is the government going to go to get people to call for outlawing all guns? Give guns to criminals in Mexico, (300 Mexicans killed with the "Fast and Furious" guns)... claim that the US gun stores are selling assault weapons to criminals... hope average citizens "buy the lie" and help Obama fulfill his dream of outlawing guns in America. If Obama evoked his executive privilege (which is his right) it means the white house knew about what was going on , therefore approved of it. What is our president trying to cover up?
on June 21,2012 | 08:06AM
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