By Geneva Sands - 06/29/12 07:45 PM EDT
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Friday raised the possibility that Attorney General Eric Holder could be placed under arrest now that he has been found in contempt of Congress.
"I find it hard and dramatic to do, but look we want to get to the bottom of this. We're serious about this. I don't think the Democrats thought we were serious to actually hold him in contempt, but this is a serious enough case," said Chaffetz on Fox News.
However, he acknowledged the House had received a letter from Department of Justice instructing the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to not pursue legal action.
The Utah congressman predicted that some people will call for Holder's arrest, but said the House would "try to exhaust" its other options first.
"The federal government purposely and knowingly gave the drug cartels 2,000 weapons, mostly AK-47s, and we're just supposed to walk away an not pursue this. That's just not going to happen," he added.
The House voted Thursday 255-67 to place Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena for documents related to the botched "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation, in a dramatic session that prompted least 80 Democrats to hold a walkout.
Chaffetz called the Democratic protest, "silly" and "nonproductive."
"Have the debate, all we're asking for is the documents. If there's nothing to hide, show is the documents," said Chaffetz.
The unprecedented vote prompted Democrats to blast the proceedings as politically motivated and an "abuse of power."
Holder said, in a press briefing Thursday, that Republicans and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, were focusing on politics rather than public safety.
"I had hoped that Congressional leaders would be good-faith partners in this work. Some have. Others, however, have devoted their time and attention to making reckless charges," said Holder.