Obama emphasizes ability to beat McCain

Democrat Barack Obama (right) and Republican John McCain.

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department and Republicans on a House committee looking into a flawed gun-smuggling probe called Operation Fast and Furious appear to be headed for an impasse over congressional demands for internal Justice Department documents.

The dispute is expected to be a prime topic at a congressional hearing Thursday when Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before a panel whose chairman, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (EYE’-suh) of California, alleges that the Justice Department is engaging in a cover-up.

Issa is threatening to seek a contempt-of-Congress ruling against Holder for failing to turn over congressionally subpoenaed documents created after problems with Fast and Furious came to light.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole says Justice Department documents about congressional inquiries on Fast and Furious will not be turned over.