What will happen as a result of the House votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the first time that a sitting Cabinet member had been held in contempt by either house of Congress? In all likelihood, nothing, says the Christian Science Monitor. The Justice Department could use prosecutorial discretion to avoid taking up the issue. That's what the Justice Department decided under President Bush when House Democrats moved criminal contempt charges against two White House staffers who refused to testify before Congress in 2008.
The House could file a civil contempt suit in federal court, asking a judge to compel Holder to deliver the “Fast and Furious” documents in question. If the 2008 saga is any barometer, a legal fight will take years. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said, “We are still fighting for the truth and accountability – for the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, for whistleblowers who have faced retaliation, and for countless victims of Operation Fast and Furious in Mexico.” Democratic House leaders called the vote a “ridiculous partisan stunt.”