Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and other federal and state officials announce a $26 billion foreclosure settlement regarding mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuse, February 9, 2012. The deal was made with five of the largest home lenders and is the biggest to date aimed at addressing the housing meltdown. It settles potential state charges about allegations of improper foreclosures based on robosigning, seizures made without proper paperwork.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican-controlled House committee has voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over Justice Department documents.
The party-line vote was 23-17. The controversy goes next to the full House, which is to vote next week unless there is some resolution in the meantime.
The vote followed a decision by President Barack Obama earlier in the day to assert executive privilege for the first time in his administration in order to protect the confidentiality of the documents.
The last Cabinet member to be cited by a congressional committee for contempt was Attorney General Janet Reno in President Bill Clinton's administration.
The recommendation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will go to the full House for a vote. Speaker John Boehner's office said that vote would occur next week unless a resolution concerning the documents is worked out before then.
Earlier in the day, in a letter to the committee chairman, Darrell Issa of California, a Justice Department official said the president had invoked executive privilege. The official said the privilege applies to documents that explain how the Justice Department learned there were problems with an investigation in Arizona of gun-running into Mexico, called Operation Fast and Furious.