WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 20, 2012) — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released a statement Wednesday in response to the Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress:
“Along with all Americans, I mourn the loss Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in a gunfight in Arizona in December 2010. We all agree that gun-walking, a policy started by the Bush Administration that allowed thousands of guns to be bought by weapons traffickers, should be investigated.
“The Obama Administration has acted decisively to address the issue. As soon as he learned of the tactic, Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the tactic and ordered the Inspector General to investigate it. Since then, he has testified before Congress seven times and provided more than 6,000 pages
“But instead of good-faith efforts to investigate what went wrong, Republicans in Congress have used the tragedy for political gain. Even after Attorney General Holder provided over 6,000 pages of documents to Congress, House Republicans subpoenaed highly sensitive documents—including photographs of crime scenes and reports on confidential informants– in order to score partisan political points. Last week, they withheld funding for our nation’s law enforcement operations in retaliation.
“This week, Republicans took the unprecedented step of holding the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officer in contempt of Congress. This is not the to protect way our law enforcement officers who risk their lives- or to make sure the American people get what they need. It’s time for the witch hunts to end and for the people to be served.”