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Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 06/25/2012

Eric Holder ‘Fast and Furious’ contempt vote to be held Thursday


Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. (Chip Somodevilla - GETTY IMAGES)
The House is scheduled to vote on recommendations that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. be held in contempt of Congress on Thursday, according to House Republican aides.

Republican leaders plan to bring the issue to the floor on Thursday, meaning lawmakers likely will vote on contempt charges on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to announce its ruling on the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care reform law.

The timing likely deprives advocates for contempt charges of the big headlines they might have received if the vote were held another day this week.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Sunday that the vote could still be postponed or scrapped if Holder and Justice Department officials present congressional investigators with documents related to a probe into Operation “Fast and Furious,” the botched gun-running operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives out of its Phoenix offices between 2009 and 2011.

If the House votes to hold him in contempt, Holder would be the first U.S. attorney general in history held in contempt of Congress. The matter would be referred to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia — a Justice Department employee and Obama administration appointee — who would have to decide whether to bring criminal charges against the attorney general, his boss.

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