Republicans are attacking Attorney General Eric Holder to help states
purge their voting rolls ahead of November's elections, the top House
Democrat charged Thursday.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday's committee vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress — and next week's scheduled floor vote on the same resolution — represent a thinly veiled Republican scheme to distract the attorney general from his fight against state laws that have erected new hurdles to voting and registration — and that would suppress areas that tend to vote Democratic.
"They're going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter-suppression initiatives in the states," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "This is no accident, it is no coincidence, it is a plan."
Holder has been under fire from Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for his response to the panel's investigation into the "Fast and Furious" program, a botched gun-running operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other Republicans claim Holder is withholding documents investigators need to examine the program fully.
On Wednesday, the panel Republicans voted unanimously on a contempt resolution against Holder, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has vowed to bring the measure to the floor next week unless Holder releases the requested documents first. Democrats on the panel unanimously rejected the charge.