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Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Fast and Furious witch hunt reached a dramatic climax Thursday when House Republicans voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The highly partisan nature of the dispute was on full-on display as angry Democrats left the chamber in droves.

With a 255-67 vote, Holder became the first sitting member of a president’s candidate charged with this sanction. More than 100 Democrats boycotted the proceedings.

The dispute over the gun-running operation in Mexico — which may not have actually ever existed — has been hyped as a Watergate-type constitutional scandal by the right.

Of the 25 House Democrats who have accepted campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association, 11 shunned their benefactors and rejected the call to support the contempt vote. In total, 17 Democrats contributed to the overwhelmingly Republican-led ploy.

In a statement following the vote, Holder railed against the “politically motivated” effort to distract the American people from the important issues at hand.

“Today’s vote may make for good political theater in the minds of some, but it is – at base – both a crass effort and a grave disservice to the American people.  They expect – and deserve – far better,” Holder said.

“I had hoped that Congressional leaders would be good-faith partners in this work [to end flawed tactics initiated in previous administration].  Some have.  Others, however, have devoted their time and attention to making reckless charges – unsupported by fact – and to advancing truly absurd conspiracy theories.  Unfortunately, these same members of Congress were nowhere to be found when the Justice Department and others invited them to help look for real solutions to the terrible problem of violence on both sides of our Southwest Border.  That’s tragic, and it’s irresponsible,” Holder said.

After the major political letdown from the Supreme Court’s ruling on healthcare Thursday, and on Monday’s Arizona anti-immigration law Monday, Republicans finally have something positive to bray about.

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