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Boehner pressures Holder over "Fast and Furious"

Attorney General Eric Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder File,AP Photo/Danny Johnston

(CBS News) House Speaker John Boehner is ratcheting up the pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder in conjunction with an investigation into the government's role in letting thousands of weapons fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Boehner and his top two deputies, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, joined Rep. Darrell Issa in their pursuit of documents related to the case, known as "Fast and Furious." Issa, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has been aggressively investigating the situation.

"We write to express our concerns with the lack of full cooperation from the Department of Justice with the ongoing Congressional investigation into the operation known as 'Fast & Furious' and the related death of Border Agent Brian Terry," the lawmakers wrote in letter to Holder dated May 18.

The lawmakers acknowledged that Holder had provided documents related to the case to Issa's panel, but they said they wanted answers to two key questions."First, who on your leadership team was informed of the reckless tactics used in Fast & Furious prior to Agent Terry's murder; and, second, did your leadership team mislead or misinform Congress in response to a Congressional subpoena?" the lawmakers asked Holder.

Issa last month sent a 48-page long draft to Boehner that would have accused Holder of contempt of Congress as part of Issa's high-profile probe of matter, now in its second year.

A Republican leadership aide told CBS News last month that the leadership was still deciding whether or not to issue the contempt citation.

The May 18 letter suggests Boehner and Republican leaders are now backing Issa's threat to cite Holder for contempt.

"If necessary, the House will act to fulfill our constitutional obligations in the coming weeks. It is our hope that, with your cooperation, this sad chapter in the history of American law enforcement can be put behind us," they wrote.

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