Judicial Watch Statement on Release of Enormous Trove of DOJ Fast and Furious Documents
NOVEMBER 20, 2014
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) on November 18, 2014, a large production of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious. The documents were forced out of the Obama administration through a June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)).
A total of 10,112 documents, comprised of approximately 42,000 pages, were disclosed to Judicial Watch in the new production. The documents are being posted and most are now available on the Judicial Watch Internet site at https://www.judicialwatch.org/fast-furious-documents-released/.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement:
Judicial Watch’s tenacious lawsuit has led to the first public disclosure of Fast and Furious documents at the heart of the historic contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder. These documents, many of which are heavily blacked out, withheld for over two years by President Obama, are a road map the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious cover-up and deadly lies.
Our supporters should be proud that their contributions helped our team of lawyers and investigators break through the Obama/Holder stonewall on Fast and Furious. Our disclosures exposed as fraud Obama’s assertions of executive privilege and led to Holder’s surprise resignation. And it was because of our lawsuit that Congress finally obtained information it had sought for years on Fast and Furious.
We are posting these documents for the public to review and hope that crowd-sourcing our investigation will lead to more accountability for the Fast and Furious outrage. The documents are explosive. For instance, our initial review of the documents shows the DOJ and White House targeted then-CBS journalist Sharyl Attkisson:
- On October 4, 2011, Holder’s top press aide Tracy Schmaler tells White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz, “I’m also calling Sharryl’s [sic] editor and reaching out to Scheiffer. She’s out of control”
Schultz responded, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”
Schultz also detailed to Schmaler that he was working with a journalist (Susan Davis, formerly of the National Journal) to target Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), the House Republican leading the charge on Fast and Furious:
“And I sent NJ’s Susan Davis your way. She’s writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc.”
(Davis authored a critical profile of Issa a few weeks later.)
This one email chain implicates both the Obama White House and the Department of Justice in an effort to secretly undermine a congressional investigation and to suppress critical media reporting of the Obama administration. No wonder Obama waited until after he was safely reelected (and even after this year’s elections) to finally release this material that documents obstruction and abuse at the highest levels.
The documents show that Obama made the extraordinary assertion of executive privilege over emails between Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon Malone. The emails show that Holder sent his spouse internal DOJ emails about Fast and Furious developments. There is nothing that would have been covered by executive privilege in these or other key records that show Barack Obama abused his power to keep them secret during his reelection campaign up until now.
Our team will continue to review these documents and will continue our court fight for more information – as President Obama continues to withhold at least 5,000 records in their entirety.
Please click here to view the full production of documents.