Attorney General Eric holder speaks to reporters following his meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Holder wants a House panel to drop plans to try to hold him in contempt of Congress, and the panel’s chairman wants more Justice Department documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious, a flawed gun-smuggling probe in Arizona. Holder and Rep. Issa met in an effort to resolve their dispute over the investigation of Fast and Furious by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that Issa chairs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Congressional Hispanic Caucus condemns Rep.Issa for holding Holder in contempt

The chairs of the Congressional Hispanic, Black and Asian Pacific American Caucus are speaking out against House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa for holding a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder.

These comments come after President Obama invoked executive privilege Wednesday to withhold documents a House committee is seeking, which led to a vote on citing Holder for contempt.

“Congress must exercise its authority responsibly and in the interest of the American people, not to score partisan political points,” said Charles Gonzalez, Hispanic Caucus Chairman, in a statement. “The Justice Department and Attorney General Holder have provided the Committee leadership with unprecedented access to the documents it requested; yet Rep. Issa refuses to be reasonable. When partisan advantage is the primary motivation, it’s really the American people who suffer,” he added.

In a letter to the committee chairman,  Rep. Issa, a Justice Department official said the executive privilege applies to documents that explain how the department learned there were problems with an investigation in Arizona of gun-running into Mexico, called Operation Fast and Furious.

According to the Associated Press, Rep. Issa called the President’s action “an untimely assertion of privilege.”

“Attorney General Holder continues to act in good faith, but the Republican chairman of the committee has made a decision to pursue the extreme measure of initiating contempt proceedings,” said Gonzalez. “This is a waste of time for the Committee, the DOJ and the American people,” he said.

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