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Holder attacks Republican critics over contempt citations
Holder is going after his congressional Republican critics, calling last week's contempt citations an election year ploy designed to hurt President Obama.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Holder said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and other Republicans involved in the "Fast and Furious" investigation are getting back at the Justice Department over other policies, such as voting rights, gay marriage and immigration.
"I've become a symbol of what they don't like about the positions this Justice Department has taken," Holder told the Post. "I am also a proxy for the president in an election year. You have to be exceedingly naive to think that vote was about ... documents."
Holder said, "I've been doing all of these things all the time Darrell Issa and his band have been nipping at my heels. They've been nipping, but I've been walking."
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the dispute is very much about documents -- specifically, documents related to the botched "Fast and Furious" gun trafficking operation that may have contributed to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
"As often as (Holder) has tried to cast himself and his other controversies as the reason for the investigation, he still doesn't acknowledge the simple truth," Issa told the Post. "The citation for contempt had his name on it because the lawfully issued subpoena for documents issued nine months ago, that his department didn't comply with, also had his name on it."
At Holder's request, President Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, saying Congress is not entitled to internal administration deliberations.
The Republican-run House voted to hold Holder in both criminal and civil contempt last week.
The Justice Department has said it will not prosecute Holder on the criminal contempt citation; the House may press the civil citation with a lawsuit.
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