POSTED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 4:45pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 4:49pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A Republican-led House committee has voted to charge Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt for refusing to turn over documents about the botched gun sting, Operation Fast and Furious.
All 23 Republicans on the House oversight and government reform committee voted for contempt.
All 17 Democrats were opposed.
That leaves Attorney General Holder possibly headed to a contempt vote on the House floor.
President Obama tried to prevent committee vote Wednesday by invoking executive privilege, denying House Republicans the documents Holder refused to turn over.
Everyone agrees that the gun-running sting went bad, letting Mexican gangs walk away with 2,000 assault weapons.
When U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Arizona in 2010, two of the guns were found at the scene.
House Republicans suspected Holder knew and covered it up.
Now, they say they suspect President Obama.
"What in the world is he asserting executive privilege for!! He's either part of it or he's not!" exclaimed South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy.
Holder and the Justice Department have given Republicans 7,600 documents and deny they're hiding anything.
Democrats charge it's not about guns or a cover-up, but simply election year politics.
It would take a vote of the full House to find Holder in contempt, and it's not yet clear if House leaders want to go that far.