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The House approved the measure to hold Holder in contempt, with 17 Democrats joining Republicans.
Republicans said they were left with no choice but to find Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over documents generated after Feb. 4, 2011 about an earlier botched ATF operation known as Fast and Furious. The Associated Press earlier reported that Holder emailed his aides after CBS News aired a report about allegations that guns that ultimately ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels were allowed to "walk" by federal agents.
Holder will address the action later this afternoon.