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Without Sandy Adams This Time, Another Call to Hold Eric Holder in Contempt

June 3, 2012 - 6:00pm

A resolution calling for the House to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt has garnered the signatures of 118 House members.

But Rep. Sandy Adams, one of Holder's leading critics, has not signed on. Instead, the Orlando Republican is going her own way.

"The congresswoman reads every bill before co-sponsoring and she had concerns about the language of the personal references in the resolution," Adams' spokeswoman Lisa Boothe told Sunshine State News on Monday.

Boothe did not specify Adams' concerns, but said the freshman lawmaker "has been a leader on the issue, calling for [Holder's] resignation and, most recently, sending a letter with her fellow freshmen to leadership recommending that the House begin contempt of Congress hearings."

Holder has been under fire for failing to produce subpoenaed documents related to the Department of Justice's bungled Fast and Furious gun-walking operation, which put weapons into the hands of Mexican drug gangs. One of those weapons ended up killing U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Boothe said Adams "holds Holder accountable for his lack of leadership at the Department of Justice, and she will continue to seek answers on behalf of the Terry family and the American people."

Noting that Holder has withheld about 74,000 pages of subpoenaed documents from Congress -- releasing only about 6,000 pages of materials -- House Republicans are gunning for the attorney general.

Florida congressmen signing the latest "contempt" resolution include Reps. John Mica -- Adams' opponent in the 7th Congressional District -- Bill Posey, Dennis Ross, Tom Rooney and Allen West.

A tea party activist familiar with the issue expressed dismay that Adams' name was not on the list.

"This is just the latest example of Adams seeming to care more about theatrics than results," said the activist, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But last month, Adams co-authored a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., urging them to "bring a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder to the House floor for a vote." The letter was dated May 17.

Adams, a former Orange County sheriff's deputy, hammered Holder during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last December.

At that hearing, she asked whether the DOJ follows standards for law enforcement agencies established by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Those standards require accredited agencies to consider a higher-ranking official responsible for the actions of lower-ranking officials who report to him.

I assume that would be a yes, Holder responded to Adams question.

You assume?" Adams rejoined. "Then, you would agree that supervisory personnel are accountable for the performance of the people underneath them, correct?

As a general rule, sure, yes, Holder answered.

Adams has since said Holder should resign.

According to the Daily Caller, House Resolution 490 is a formal way to exhibit Congresss disdain for Holder as the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious proceeds. It may also be one of the initial steps toward removing Holder from office if he neither complies with Rep. Darrell Issas subpoena nor resigns his office.

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

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