The key word is “inherent”

In just “contempt of Congress” charges, the charge has to go thru and be approved by the partisan, aka voting-for-party-over-their-oath-of-office Senate.  If the House brings “inherent contempt of Congress” charges against Holder, no such process.

“In an inherent contempt proceeding, the Senate or in today’s case the House,  brings the contempt charges against the individual, in this case Eric  Holder.  The Sergeant-at-Arms for the House then arrests the person charged  and brings them to the floor of the House.  The charges are read, discussed  and then voted upon.  If the House votes in favor of the charges, the  guilty party is then subject to the appropriate punishment, which may include  imprisonment. ” source Godfather Politics

So there is no holdup for Holder.  The option to do this is solely at the discretion of Representative Issa.  It then falls on the House to reign in Holder.  Or not.  Depending on whether the House is also willing to put their oath of office ahead of other things, in this case their assessment of their accountability and electability based on their actions.  It is no stretch to believe that we have plenty of representatives that would ignore their oath easily if they thought there would be too much flak and that voting to hold Holder in contempt might affect their chances for reelection.  Or just as easily, if they thought that they could get behind-the-scenes benefits and payoffs and would not be held accountable even if they voted against.

Interestingly, if Holder appeals this, it might make its way all the way to the Supreme Court.  But if he doesn’t appeal it, it becomes a hot potato for Presbo, who loses either way.  If he allows his Attorney General to go to jail, essentially one more under the bus.  Versus he chooses to try the ever increasingly imperial presidency route one more time and pardons Holder, essentially risking even MORE political fallout between now and November.  Or he could let Holder sit in jail until after the election, where he could then pardon with impunity whether he wins or loses.  A politically risky move since Holde is not likely to gin up much sympathy either way. Given Presbo’s history of abandoning his supporters, this is a risky choice for Holder.  But not as risky as appealing it, where the proceedings could stretch out until the next presidential term, and then Holder could risk NOT being able to be pardoned.

About drrik

3rd career and 2nd childhood. Spends spare time repairing old things. Aspires to burn more gasoline, gunpowder, and ink in pursuit of slowing down. Child of the 60s and aspiring student of history. No desire to see us repeat the failed social experiments that keep failing for lack of human beings that meet the left wing standards and have to be killed off. Did engineering long enough to realize that very little is new and the wheel does not need to be reinvented.
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5 Responses to The key word is “inherent”

  1. CW says:

    That’s an interesting analaysis, Drrik.

    The proper handling of this cannot be underestimated. This would be a particularly bad time for Republicans to create even the appearance of attacking Holder for political gain. It’s important to be right but it’s also essential to be smart about it. All too often Republicans insist on doing only one or the other, and they end up on the losing end of things.

    Issa and other Republicans need to make their case clear to the public as to why Holder should be held in contempt, and they need to stay in control of their tempers so as not to seem to be on a personal vendetta.

  2. drrik says:

    Many “average” and undecided folks (still) do not even know what Fast and Furious was about. Incredibley. Or even if they have heard, do not understand the ramificaitions. Or don’t even credit that it caused the direct death of an American citizen and 200 Mexican nationals. Hard to believe and hard to cope with how much difference having an undermining press can do to damage the country.

  3. pepperhawk says:


    I read that about the “inherent contempt” too and wondered why Congress doesn’t use that one to get that jerk in jail.

    Funny, I hear the media boobs saying the American people don’t know or care about Fast and Furious, but I was on Facebook and as soon as the story broke there were millions of people on there up in arms about it. We all know it was just a ploy to take away our 2nd amendment rights. A stupid and deadly program. Holder should go to jail for this or at the very least be fired.

  4. pepperhawk says:

    Oh I meant to say on FaceBook it was at least a year ago if not more that people on there were aware of the F&F and wanted something done about Holder back then. People would get onto Issa’s page and Boehner,s and demand the impeachment of Holder or contempt a long time ago. So the media is completely wrong about how many people know about this story. Only those who listen to liberal media probably didn’t know anything about it because they never reported on it just as they never reported on Solyndra.

  5. drrik says:

    Need letters to Boehner and state rep.

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