JW Sues DOJ for Records of Holder Contempt Settlement Talks
SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
Judicial Watch has sued the “most transparent administration” in history for details of Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts to settle contempt charges filed against him for refusing to give Congress documents related to a scandalous gunrunning experiment that let Mexican drug traffickers obtain U.S.-sold weapons.
The goal behind this disastrous Obama administration plan— known as Fast and Furious—was to then trace the guns back to Mexican cartels. Instead the agency responsible for monitoring the guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), lost track of hundreds of weapons that later surfaced in a number of crimes, including the murder a U.S. Border Patrol agent (Brian Terry) in Peck Canyon Arizona.
Judicial Watch has an ongoing investigation into this huge Obama administration scandal and has filed a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with various agencies. JW has been forced to sue both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the ATF for failing to provide records in a timely manner allotted by FOIA laws. Undoubtedly, the administration is in full cover-up mode and that includes blowing off a congressional probe.
In fact, last June President Obama made a highly controversial decision to assert Executive Privilege to shield the DOJ’s Fast and Furious records from disclosure. Executive privilege is reserved to “protect” White House records, not the records of federal agencies, which must be made available, subject to specific exceptions under FOIA. None of this seems relevant to the commander-in-chief who has repeatedly broken his promise to run the most transparent administration in history.
The stonewalling continues and this month JW filed a FOIA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to shed light into the closed-door proceedings where the DOJ tried to settle a contempt of Congress citation against Holder. JW is seeking access to all records of communications between the DOJ and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which issued the citation.
In August 2012 the House Oversight Committee sued Holder to enforce subpoenas in its probe of the Fast and Furious operation. The Attorney General essentially flipped the finger at Congress and in its complaint the investigative congressional committee accuses Holder of obstruction and a “contumacious refusal to comply” with a subpoena and produce documents involving Fast and Furious. In March a federal judge ordered the two sides to enter mediation but it has done little to solve the matter because the DOJ is apparently dragging it out. Holder continues using his legal battle with Congress to keep the American people from knowing the truth about the Fast and Furious.
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