On July 18 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Department of Justice must “provide a detailed listing of all [Fast and Furious] documents that it has withheld from Congress.”
The ruling was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates and was the result of a September 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch. The ruling was announced by Judicial Watch on July 31.
According to the announcement, Bates went against the DOJ’s claims that releasing information to Judicial Watch “would interfere with the [DOJ’s] continuing litigation with House Oversight Committee.”
Because many of the issues to be resolved in this case do not overlap with the House committee, and because resolving those issues will not risk upsetting the delicate balance of powers in subpoena disputes between the political branches, the court will require DOJ to produce a Vaughn Index here.
A “Vaughn Index” will identify the documents, explain why exemption was claimed for said documents, and also explain why disclosing the documents “would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.”
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