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'Fast and Furious' probe: Obama's Watergate, or a waste of time? (+video)

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(Read caption) White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says a contempt vote by Congress against Attorney General Eric Holder is purely political, and that the administration has accommodated Congress in investigating a botched gun-tracking operation. (June 21)
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The struggle between House Republicans and the Obama administration over the former’s investigation into the latter’s failed “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation escalated dramatically this week. Will the House probe uncover an Obama administration scandal as profound as Watergate, as some in the GOP believe? Or is it an election-oriented fishing expedition, as White House spokesman Jay Carney contends?

In a Washington, D.C., long riven by partisanship, the split over this issue is now as deep and bitter as they come.

“This is about getting to the truth for the American people,” said the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner on Thursday.

“This is an attempt to score political points,” replied the Democratic administration’s Mr. Carney later in the day.

Two moves on Wednesday helped power this new polarization. President Obama asserted executive privilege to withhold from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requested documents dealing with the “Fast and Furious” operation. The House panel then voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

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