(June 27, 2012) Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. will likely be held in contempt of Congress when the Republican-led House votes on the motion today. But at least one political analyst believes the fallout will be minimal.
“It’s an insult and a slap but it’s not going to have an impact,” said Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College in Ohio. He further predicted, “Barack Obama is not going to remove Holder from office.”
And as it regards the potential impact on the president’s chances in the November runoff, Johnson said the public just doesn’t care. “Eric Holder has not been caught up in a scandal that the average American cares about,” he said.
House lawmakers will consider the motion against Holder for ignoring a congressional subpoena for documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, a federal law enforcement program that funneled guns into the hands of Mexican criminals.
President Obama’s invocation of executive privilege over internal communications related to the matter turned up the heat even higher. In a June 25 letter to the president, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seemed to suggest that the president was complicit in the failed program.
“Your privilege assertion means one of two things. Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the Attorney General to the Committee, or, you are asserting a Presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation,” Issa wrote.
Smearing Obama—and potentially harming his chances in November—was his opponents’ intent all along, Johnson said, and targeting Holder was part of that strategy.