(Newsroom America) -- Attorney General Eric Holder says he will meet with the chairman of a House committee that has been examining his role in the "Fast and Furious" gun-running scandal, agreeing to provide some key documents in exchange for calling off a planned contempt vote.
Reports said Tuesday that Holder would meet with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has led a 16-month investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-led operation that ultimately resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in a shoot-out along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Fox News and The Hill newspaper reported that a meeting between Holder and Issa, who will be accompanied by other lawmakers, is scheduled for around 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
In a letter to Issa, chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Monday, Holder said the Justice Department "has offered a serious, good faith proposal to bring this matter to an amicable resolution in the form of a briefing based on documents that the committee could retain."
Issa and his committee have regularly demanded scores of documents from the Justice Department pertaining to the botched operation, in which the BATF allowed straw purchasers to buy guns from the U.S. and supply them to Mexican drug cartels south of the border. The notion was to follow the guns to the cartels but the U.S. agency lost track of most of the 2,000 or so guns purchased. At least two of them - AK-47 rifles - were found at the scene of a shoot-out where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed.
The California congressman has also demanded to know who prepared a now-retracted letter from Feb. 4, 2011, in which Justice claimed the U.S. did not knowingly help smuggle guns across the border into Mexico, including those later found at Terry's murder scene.
Fox News reported that House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has been pressuring Issa to drop the investigation, saying it could become an election-year distraction that hurts Republicans.
Meanwhile, the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, welcomed the opportunity to postpone the contempt vote.
"Last week, the chairman asked for a 'serious proposal' on these documents, and the attorney general gave us one the next day," Cummings said. "I look forward to our meeting ... to finalize the terms of this proposed agreement, and I see no reason to proceed with contempt given these positive developments."
However, Issa wrote back late Monday that Holder not only had to produce the 1,300 documents related to the Feb. 4 letter, but also a description of all documents he will not produce. Such a document log is "essential for the committee to determine whether the department has substantially met its obligations," Issa said.
The committee, which is dominated by Republicans, is likely to vote out a contempt order but getting that vote to the full House may prove more difficult. Besides Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia is also said to oppose it.
Publicly, Fox News said, Boehner and Cantor support efforts to make Holder accountable.
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