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House could arrest Holder with inherent contempt power

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Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
Friday, June 29, 2012

Despite voting to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt ofCongress, there’s little House Republicans can do in the short term to compel him to turn over documents — unless it wanted to revisit a long-dormant power and arrest him.

The thought is shocking, and conjures up a Hollywood-ready standoff scene between House police and the FBI agents who protect the attorney general. It’s a dramatic and unlikely possibility not least because Congress doesn’t even have a jail any longer. But in theory it could happen.

Republicans say it’s not even under consideration, with House SpeakerJohn A. Boehner’s spokesman flatly ruling it out.

But the process, known as inherent contempt, is well-established by precedent, has been confirmed by multiple Supreme Court rulings, and is available to any Congress willing to force such a confrontation.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm





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