A collection of reaction from various groups and individuals to the House of Representatives vote Thursday holding Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running sting:
Attorney General Eric Holder:
"Today's vote is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided -- and politically motivated -- investigation during an election year. By advancing it over the past year and a half, Congressman (Darrell) Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety. Instead of trying to correct the problems that led to a series of flawed law enforcement operations, and instead of helping us find ways to better protect the brave law enforcement officers, like Agent Brian Terry, who keep us safe -- they have led us to this unnecessary and unwarranted outcome."
The White House:
"At the beginning of this year, Republicans announced one of their top priorities was to investigate the administration and to ensure that President Obama was a one-term president. Despite the major economic challenges facing the country, they talked openly about devoting taxpayer-funded, Congressional oversight resources to political purposes ... In an act of good faith, this week the administration made an additional offer which would have resulted in the committee getting unprecedented access to documents dispelling any notion of an intent to mislead. But unfortunately, a politically-motivated agenda prevailed and instead of engaging with the president in efforts to create jobs and grow the economy, today we saw the House of Representatives perform a transparently political stunt."
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:
Attorney General Eric Holder is an exemplary public servant -- and this reckless and wrong-headed vote doesn't change that. Anyone who has followed these proceedings over the last several weeks and months knows that the attorney general is not in contempt of Congress; rather, he is in contempt of the narrow partisan agenda of some in the House leadership. The fact that this vote is tied to the political whims of the National Rifle Association is nothing short of absurd. A contempt citation from Congress is a historic sanction that should not be invoked on such frivolous grounds.
Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People:
"Today's contempt vote was a divisive political maneuver that does nothing to advance justice. Attorney General Holder has been candid about the botched Fast and Furious program and has handed over more than 7,000 documents related to the operation started under his predecessor. It is reprehensible that this sitting attorney general and distinguished legal advocate is being attacked by some in Congress for political gain."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
"The U.S. House of Representatives today sent a clear message that it will not allow the Obama administration to hide its lawless, reckless and deadly actions from the American public. The American people deserve to know what they are hiding, how high this lawlessness goes and why the president's lawyer and best friend is stonewalling. I have long called for General Holder's resignation over his involvement in the botched Fast and Furious scandal that led to the tragic death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. General Holder's blatant attempts to mislead members of Congress and the American people, paired with his relentless crusade to erode states' rights, have cost him the trust of this nation, and must be stopped. "
Robert Heyer, chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation and cousin of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry:
"The Terry family takes no pleasure in the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. Such a vote should not have been necessary. The Justice Department should have released the documents related to Fast and Furious months ago. Eric Holder's refusal to do so and President Obama's assertion of executive privilege have stood in the way of justice and the answers we seek into the death of fallen Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Given the Obama administration's steadfast refusal to level with the American people, Congress was left with no choice but to vote Mr. Holder in contempt."