Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly said Tuesday he supports efforts by the GOP-led House oversight committee to enforce a subpoena requiring Attorney General Eric Holder to release more documents related to the failed gun-tracking program known as Fast and Furious.
“One of the duties of Congress is to provide oversight of the executive branch,” Donnelly of Indiana told The Daily Caller. “There has been a serious allegation of federal law enforcement misconduct and we need to get to the bottom of this issue without playing partisan politics.”
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, issued the subpoena in October 2011 and days ago suggested the next option to get Holder to release additional documents might be declaring him in contempt of Congress.
Donnelly was among 31 House Democrats who last year wrote President Obama asking him to tell Holder and the Justice Department to comply with the congressional investigation into Fast and Furious.
They said in the letter both the program’s tactics and the withholding of information were “troubling.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program was designed to get arms dealers to sell to suspected gun traffickers for Mexican drug cartels, which would in turn lead agents to bigger traffickers.
However, the program purportedly put thousands of guns into the streets of Mexico, with many of the guns linked to violent crimes. And in 2010, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in Arizona near the Mexican border by illegal immigrants who had weapons from the program.
The other 30 lawmakers have so far declined to respond to the Daily Caller’s question on Holder's record of compliance with the subpoena. And Donnelly’s office did not return a Fox News request for comment.
The House oversight committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, has said Holder has not failed to comply.
A Cummings spokeswoman said Monday the congressman still thinks Holder is complying with the subpoena because the Justice Department is still producing documents.
The other Democrats who signed that letter but didn’t respond the Daily Caller’s requests for comment are: Pennsylvania Reps. Jason Altmire, Tim Holden and Mark Critz; California Reps. Joe Baca, Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa; Georgia Reps. Sanford Bishop and John Barrow; Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell; Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler; Tennessee Rep. Jim Cooper; Illinois Rep. Jerry Costello; Oregon Reps. Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader; New Mexico Reps. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan; North Carolina Reps. Larry Kissell , Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre; Utah Rep. Jim Matheson; Maine Rep. Mike Michaud; New York Rep. Bill Owens; Minnesota Reps. Collin Peterson and Tim Walz; Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan.