Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler issued this statement on the House Oversight Committee's contempt proceeding against Attorney General Eric Holder:
“Chairman Issa’s latest maneuver is unfortunate and unwarranted, particularly given the ongoing discussions we’ve been having with Committee staff regarding a mutually acceptable resolution to their requests for information. The Committee has received information from the Department regarding how this flawed operation - and those from previous administrations -- were initiated and who authorized them.
“From the beginning, Chairman Issa has distorted the facts, ignored testimony and flung inaccurate accusations at the Attorney General and others, and this latest move fits within that tired political playbook that has so many Americans disillusioned with Washington. The Committee has ignored the fundamental – and undeniable - facts that this Attorney General put a stop to the misguided tactics, called for an investigation of this flawed operation and instituted reforms to prevent this from happening again.
“As recently as a few days ago, the Department staff and Committee staff were discussing a way toward a resolution of this matter. The Attorney General and the Department of Justice will remain focused on the critical job of protecting this Nation and the American people while Chairman Issa continues to play these political games at the expense of all Americans.”
The June 20 hearing relates to documents Issa subpoenaed related to the botched ATF operation known as Fast and Furious.