The family of murdered border agent Brian Terry voiced criticism Thursday of Attorney General Eric Holder and of a key Democrat who voted against holding Holder in contempt of Congress.
Terry was killed 18 months ago by members of a Mexican drug cartel who were armed with guns that had disappeared in the botched Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sting known as Operation Fast and Furious.
Robert Heyer, chairman of the Brian Terry Foundation and Terry's cousin, released a statement reacting to the House's decision to hold Attorney General Eric Holder civilly and criminally in contempt of Congress.
“The Terry family takes no pleasure in the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. Such a vote should not have been necessary," the statement reads. "The Justice Department should have released the documents related to Fast and Furious months ago. Eric Holder’s refusal to do so and President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege have stood in the way of justice and the answers we seek into the death of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
"Given the Obama administration’s steadfast refusal to level with the American people, Congress was left with no choice but to vote Mr. Holder in contempt."
Heyer and Terry's mother, Josephine Terry, appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" Thursday evening to further share their reactions to the vote.
When asked about the Democrats' walkout during the voting, Terry said she was "shocked."
"But I think it was a disgrace to them and not my son," Terry said.
She recalled receiving only one mailed letter from the attorney general's office following her son's death and a few other letters sent as email attachments once Fast and Furious was revealed on TV -- no personal phone calls or visits.
"It was an egregious decision not to come forward and share critical information with our family," Heyer said. "Our only desire is to get answers -- the truth and justice for Brian."
Heyer reflected on a point when the Terrys were only receiving their information on the botched operation through the media, just like everyone else in the country.
"Is this arrogance or incompetence?" he said. "Sometimes I'm not sure what, but we're very disappointed. It has been 18 months, and we still don't have the answer."
Earlier Thursday, the Terry family also released a statement in response to Rep. John Dingell's refusal to back the contempt resolutions against Holder. The Michigan representative invoked the Terry family's name saying he would not back the resolutions, but instead wanted the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to conduct a more thorough investigation into "Fast and Furious."
"Congressman Dingell represents the district in Michigan where Brian Terry was born and where his family still resides, but his views don't represent those of the Terry family," the family said. "Nor does he speak for the Terry family. And he has never spoken to the Terry family. ...
"While Mr. Dingell calls for more investigation, we are calling for action. The Terry family has been waiting for over 18 months for answers about Operation Fast and Furious and how it was related to Brian's death. If Representative Dingell truly wants to support the Terry family and honor Brian Terry, a son of Michigan, he and other members of Congress will call for the attorney general to immediately provide the documents requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee."