Attorney General Eric Holder was held in criminal contempt of Congress on Thursday on a 255 to 67 vote. Holder is the first Attorney General in U.S. history to be held in contempt by a full house vote. On a separate vote, members of Congress voted 258 to 95 to approve a civil contempt charge against Holder.
While the mostly Republican-lead chamber of the House cast their votes, a sea of Democrats left the House floor in protest.
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“Shame on you! Shame on you!, Democratic members of Congress shouted outside of the House of Representatives.
In a statement, Holder expressed his disappointment saying the vote “is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided – and politically motivated – investigation during an election year.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said it was not political.
“I don’t take this matter lightly, and frankly hoped it would never come to this,” he said from the floor. “The House is focused on jobs and the economy. 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.”