“Fast and Furious” debate continues after President exercises executive privilege

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker John Boehner says Americans deserve the truth about a failed gun-smuggling investigation, and insists the House will hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress unless additional documents are turned over.

Boehner has scheduled a contempt-of-Congress vote next week. The Ohio Republican says the president's decision to assert executive privilege shows the administration covered up the truth.

The Justice Department has already turned over thousands of documents about the Fast and Furious operation. Officials first told lawmakers there was no “gun-walking,” or letting U.S-purchased guns reach Mexico. But officials later acknowledged there was.

Now lawmakers are seeking documents to show how the department responded to its investigation.

Boehner says the use of executive privilege is supposed to protect documents prepared for the president, not Justice Department records.

Meantime, the top House Democrat says a committee vote holding the attorney general in contempt of Congress is part of Republican efforts to suppress votes in the upcoming elections.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the vote on Attorney General Eric Holder was an abuse of power by Republicans. She says it is no coincidence that Holder is the official in charge of preventing voter suppression and enforcing civil rights laws.

The California Democrat says Republicans are allied with big-spending special interests in what she called a “nationwide scheme” to suppress the vote.

The GOP-run House Oversight Committee voted Wednesday to hold the attorney general in contempt for failing to supply documents related to the mishandled “Fast and Furious” gun-running investigation.


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