Washington, D.C. -
The republican controlled House Panel that has been investigating the "Fast and Furious" gun-running scheme by the ATF has put U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress for failing to hand over documents the panel has requested after Holder asserts that the White House has exercised Executive Privileged.
The Justice Department has previously requested President Obama invoke executive privilege over the gun-smuggling operation which resulted in a U.S. Border Patrol agent being killed.
The "decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "The administration has always insisted that wasn't the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?"
But the White House is not backing down and fired back saying it is "politically motivated fishing expedition during an election", according to Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director.
Pfeifer also noted that the Justice Department has been cooperating with congress for the last 14 months and has turned over thousands of pages of documents and has had various members of the ATF, FBI and the Justice Department testify before congress and only now takes a politically motivated contempt citation" he added.
Fast and Furious, as it was known operationally, allowed suspected smugglers to buy guns and transport them over the U.S./Mexican border in the hopes of tracking down where they ended up from evidence collection after a crime in Mexico occurred. The operation went bad when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by one of the weapons that were allowed to "walk".