Holder: ‘You Don’t Want to Go There’ — and Good Asparagus Luck!

Photograph by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the US Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 8, 2014.

 

Eric Holder has made little secret of his contempt for Congress.

And at least some in the Republican-run House have voted to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress as well.

As Rep. Louie Goehmert, a Texas Republican, was pressing Holder again today for documents in that Mexican border gun-running scandal known as “Fast and Furious,” he suggested that the attorney general doesn’t care about being held in contempt.

“You don’t want to go there, buddy, all right? You don’t want to go there,” Holder said.

“You should not assume that is not a big deal to me. I think that was inappropriate and unjust, but don’t ever think that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”

“Sir,” Gohmert said, “we’ve been trying to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious where at least a couple hundred Mexicans died… so I don’t need any lectures from you about contempt.”

“And I don’t need lectures from you, either,” Holder said.

As the three-and-a-half hour session ended, Holder added: “Good luck with your asparagus.”

“The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus,” Gohmert complained.

That House contempt vote was cast in 2012.

And Holder already has made his feelings about it known publicly.

“I have to tell you that for me to really be affected by what happened, I’d have to have respect for the people who voted in that way,” Holder said in an interview with ABC News in 2013. “And I didn’t, so it didn’t have that huge an impact on me.”

Another adversary, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, responded at the time: “Attorney General Holder’s admission that he does not respect the Democratic and Republican members of Congress who voted to hold him in contempt offers a window into why Washington is so dysfunctional.”

Holder was cleared of any involvement in the bungled gun operation. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation resulted in the loss of more than 2,000 guns across the Mexican border, one of which was found at the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Half the Democrats in the House had walked out as Republican leaders conducted a vote to find Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to deliver documents about the Fast and Furious operation. The House voted 255-67 in June 2012, the first time a sitting Cabinet member had been found in contempt of Congress.

 

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