06.20.12

Rep. Schiff Condemns Vote Against Attorney General Eric Holder

Washington, DC – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a former federal prosecutor, issued the following statement after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold the Attorney General in contempt:

"The Committee has taken the deeply ill-considered step of voting to hold the Attorney General in contempt. Given the Attorney General's willingness to provide a wide range of documents not generally made available to Congress – such as internal deliberations over communicating with a co-equal branch of government – it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Committee is more interested in a fight with the Attorney General than getting the information it seeks.

"The use of Congress’s contempt power should be jealously guarded and only used with the most scrupulous care, otherwise it becomes nothing more than a rhetorical tool of partisan warfare and a paper tiger. I urge the House Leadership to step back from this needless and destructive process, and join the Attorney General at the negotiating table so this issue can be resolved in a timely way. The Fast and Furious investigation, which had its origin in a legitimate need to get to the bottom of a botched ‘gun walking’ operation has lost its way, and is now accomplishing nothing but doing damage to the institution of Congress."