WASHINGTON - The head of the Republican-led US House of Representatives panel investigating a botched US-Mexico gun running sting is taking his demand for documents directly to the White House, according to a letter released on Tuesday.

In a seven-page letter to President Barack Obama, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa questioned the president's assertion of executive privilege in refusing to turn over the documents and called on him to release the information to avoid contempt proceedings against the top U.S. law enforcement official.

The move comes before the full House is vote Thursday on whether Attorney General Eric Holder should be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over some Justice Department documents in the case, which was named "Operation Fast and Furious."

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