The top House Democrat says a committee vote holding the attorney general in contempt of Congress is part of Republican efforts to suppress votes in the upcoming elections.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the vote on Attorney General Eric Holder was an abuse of power by Republicans. She says it is no coincidence that Holder is the official in charge of preventing voter suppression and enforcing civil rights laws.

The California Democrat says Republicans are allied with big-spending special interests in what she called a "nationwide scheme" to suppress the vote.

The GOP-run House Oversight Committee voted Wednesday to hold the attorney general in contempt for failing to supply documents related to the mishandled "Fast and Furious" gun-running investigation.

Holder: Negotiations possible to avoid showdown


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is indicating he is willing to engage in negotiations to avoid a constitutional showdown over Justice Department documents in the "Fast and Furious" gun-smuggling investigation.

Holder is attending meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark, with European Union officials. He told reporters Thursday "the possibility still exists" that the confrontation with Congress can be resolved through negotiations.

A House committee has voted to hold him in contempt, which Holder called "unwarranted, unnecessary and unprecedented." President Barack Obama claimed executive privilege Wednesday in refusing to turn over some documents.

Republicans say they are willing to negotiate, too, but only if the administration turns over more emails and memos.

The dispute is over a botched anti-smuggling operation that allowed hundreds of guns sold in Arizona to end up in Mexico.