Contempt Vote Against Eric Holder Supported by Black Activists
Misguided Attempts to Play 'Race Card' Derided by Former Hill Staff
Washington, D.C. - Today's bipartisan vote holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his refusal to provide requested information to congressional investigators about the bungled "Operation Fast and Furious" ATF gun-smuggling sting is supported by black activists from Project 21.
"Eric Holder's race has nothing to do with the fact that, as Attorney General, he has shown that he cannot abide by the Constitution that he swore to uphold and protect," said Project 21 spokesman Council Nedd II. "As a former congressional investigator, I know that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are well within their rights to subpoena information from the Justice Department and expect a full and timely reply. Holder's failure to respond is contempt in the truest sense of the word. Ignoring a lawful request is the issue that Congress voted on. The skin color of the Attorney General and the President was irrelevant."
By a bipartisan vote of 255-67, the full House of Representatives found Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena request from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Leaders of race-based special interests groups such as the NAACP and Al Sharpton's National Action Network held a press conference on June 26 to try to play the race card against Congress -- saying the vote was about punishing Holder for other reasons. NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous, for example, said it was his "firm belief" that lawmakers voting against Holder did so because Holder "has been fighting for civil rights and voting rights." Holder has sought to block implementation of popular and democratically-enacted voter ID laws at the state level.
Citing U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose death may be linked to guns the ATF allowed to be delivered to Mexican drug cartels, and the countless deaths in Mexico also related to the botched operation, Project 21 spokeswoman Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a former senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: "Voter ID and race-baiting aside, the Fast and Furious debacle resulted in lives being lost. And for that, people simply have to be held accountable -- period."
Project 21's Nedd added: "Al Sharpton, Ben Jealous and the rest of the race lobbyists can pout and preen to the cameras and make as many outlandish statements as they want, but the fact of the matter is that Eric Holder was not forthcoming with Congress about Operation Fast and Furious. Holder showed contempt for the oversight process, and he should be very well aware that actions -- particularly ones that defy our constitutional system of checks and balances -- are followed with consequences."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for nearly two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).