WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012)—U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday Americans deserve the truth about the failed Fast and Furious gun-smuggling investigation, and insists the House will hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress unless additional documents are turned over.
Boehner scheduled a contempt-of-Congress vote next week.
The Ohio Republican says the president's decision Wednesday to assert executive privilege shows the administration covered up the truth.
The U.S. Justice Department has already turned over thousands of documents about the Fast and Furious operation.
Officials first told lawmakers there was no "gun-walking" involved, but later acknowledged that guns purchased in the U.S. did reach Mexico where the weapons were involved in several hundred deadly shootings including one that claimed the life of border agent Brian Terry.
Lawmakers are seeking documents to show how the department responded to its investigation.
Boehner said the use of executive privilege is supposed to protect documents prepared for the president, not Justice Department records.
On the other side of the aisle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the committee vote to hold Holder in contempt is part of what she said are GOP efforts to suppress votes in the upcoming elections.
Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the vote on Holder was an abuse of power by Republicans and said it is no coincidence that Holder is the official in charge of preventing voter suppression and enforcing civil rights laws.
The California Democrat said Republicans are allied with big-spending special interests in what she called a "nationwide scheme" to suppress the vote.
Holder, meanwhile, indicated Thursday he is willing to engage in negotiations to avoid a constitutional showdown.
Holder, who is attending meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark, with European Union officials, told reporters Thursday "the possibility still exists" that the confrontation with Congress can be resolved through negotiations.