The Hill, Politico Give Wildly Different Stories on Progress of Holder Contempt Charges

The media can’t decide if Congressman Darrell Issa has enough votes within the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to bring contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder. The Hill claims Rep Issa doesn’t have the votes, but Politico says the “GOP is closer to going after Holder.” 

Which one is it?

It’s hard to answer that question, because neither publication cites any sources. Instead, these reporters choose to assume and voice their opinions without substantiation. 

In The Hill, Jordy Yager writes, “[T]he silence, lack of outspoken support an desire by these eight GOP caucus members to avoid the issue could be a problem for Issa.” But there are seven committee members, not eight. Second, only one of the seven said anything. Rep Justin Amash (R-Mich) told The Hill he would wait until the final version of the contempt citation is released. Rep Frank Guinta’s office declines to comment, and the other 5 haven’t responded.

But instead of leaving it there Yager, decides to give us a bit of mind reading interpretation: “But their hesitance might also be due to Issa’s outspoken nature,” he writes--not passing up an opportunity to cast aspersions on Rep. Issa, naturally. Yager even says the Republican leadership is hesitant to support the contempt measure. Then why did Speaker John Boehner tell the press that all options are on the table?

The article at Politico contradicts The Hill. There is no mention of Chairman Issa lacking votes or internal conflict within the Oversight Committee. Instead, it’s about how, as the title says, the GOP is closer to going after Holder. It talks about how the letter sent from the GOP leadership to Holder gave the DOJ one last chance to comply with the subpoena before they take action. It’s incredibly positive and makes the reader think that there is nothing standing in the way of Chairman Issa if the DOJ doesn’t comply with the subpoena.

While the article is in favor of Chairman Issa and the investigation, I don’t know if I can believe it. Up until now Politico has not been on top of this story. Their change started after May 10. Politico published an article about the GOP going slow on the contempt vote. In it, they claimed the GOP leadership were going to slow it down but didn’t add sources. And later that day, Speaker Boehner came out in full support of Chairman Issa, which ultimately proved their entire article wrong. With egg on their face, are they trying to make up for their mistake?  

Neither article fully substantiates its claims, so those following this story closely should not jump to any conclusions until more information comes out. We don't want articles affecting public perception if they’re not well-documented and confirmed, even if they are in favor of Chairman Issa and the investigation.

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