"But no Justice Department is above the law, and no Justice Department is above the Constitution, which each of us has sworn an oath to uphold," he said. "So I ask the members of this body to come together and to support this resolution."


BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerAre maskless House members scofflaws? Israel, Democrats and the problem of the Middle East Joe Crowley to register as lobbyist for recording artists MORE said that when House Republicans first asked for information relating to the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking operation, the Justice Department failed to deliver. The GOP has said the operation allowed guns to leave the United States and might have been used in the shooting of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

"Instead, the information came from people outside the department, people who wanted to do the right thing," Boehner said. "In addition to not providing the information, the administration admitted misleading Congress, actually retracting a letter it had sent 10 months earlier."

Then, after a more recent request for documents, the Obama administration asserted executive privilege over those papers.

"That leaves us no other options. The only recourse left for the House is to continue seeking the truth and to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress," he said.

"The Terry family wants to know how this happened, and they have every right to have their answers," Boehner added. "And the House needs to know how this happened, and it's our constitutional duty to find out."