Rep. Altmire says he had 'no other choice' but to vote for Holder contempt


"The fact is that the House has jurisdiction in oversight over these types of investigations. The attorney general was asked to provide information, and he chose not to provide it. So as a result, I had no other choice, but to vote in contempt," Altmire told CNN.

Altmire did say, however, that he believes Holder hadn't done anything wrong.

"I believe he is an honest man," Altmire said. "I think the documents are going to show that. The question of the vote yesterday was, did he comply with the House request for documents for an ongoing investigation about a very serious matter, that again I believe he will not be in any way found to be negligent in that. But the fact is, he was asked to provide the documents, and he didn't."

Asked why he didn't participate in a walk-out staged by members of the Democratic leadership and the Congressional Black Caucus, the three-term congressman said he didn't like playing "political games."

"That moment was exactly like 2008, when we had a nearly identical vote when President Bush was in the White House involving the U.S. attorney scandal, two very high-ranking government officials were held in contempt, and the Republicans walked off the floor," Altmire said. "So it goes both ways. But I don't like to play those kinds of political games. I stayed consistent with the vote I cast in 2008. The documents were not provided. The vote was called and I had no other choice, but to vote in contempt."

The Pennsylvania lawmaker predicted the contempt case would not go to court, however.

"I don't think it's going to go to court," Altmire said. "I don't know how that segment of the investigation is going to end."