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Holder snaps at Gohmert on contempt: 'You don't want to go there'

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 8, 2014.
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 8, 2014.

The war of words between Attorney General Eric Holder and Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a tea party lawmaker from Texas, escalated once again on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

While being questioned about the Justice Department’s reluctance to hand over documents related to the prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a Texas-based Islamic charity that was shut down by the government for funding Hamas, Gohmert brought up how the House held Holder in contempt of Congress two years ago over the Fast and Furious gun running scandal.

"I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight,” Gohmert said.

Holder snapped back: “You don’t want to go there buddy, all right? You don’t want to go there, OK?”

“I don’t want to go there?” Gohmert responded.

“No,” insisted Holder.

“About the contempt?” Gohmert asked. “You should not assume that this is not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust. But never think that that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”

Gohmert added, “Well I’m just looking for evidence. And normally we’re known by our fruits. And there have been no indications that it was a big deal, because your department has still not been forthcoming in producing the documents that were the subject of the contempt.”

After the questioning ended, a clearly perturbed Holder told Gohmert: “Good luck with your asparagus,” referring to a heated exchange the two had about a year ago.

That hearing was concerning alleged Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who had been questioned by the FBI years earlier for potential radicalization. Gohmert argued the FBI failed to prevent the attack while Holder defended the FBI. Gohmert oddly responded: “The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus.”