Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice in order to gain access to Operation Fast & Furious documents. President Obama invoked executive privilege over these documents on June 20 just minutes before the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder.
Operation Fast & Furious was a government gun-walking scheme that put 2,000+ guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The guns have been linked to the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and 300+ Mexicans. They’ve been found at twelve crime scenes across America and more recently in Colombia. More than 1000 guns are still missing. No one within the DOJ has been held accountable. Instead they’ve been allowed to resign quietly or reassigned to other positions.
On June 22, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA with the Office of Information Policy (OIP). However, on August 6, OIP told Judicial Watch “that the Offices of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General had determined that the documents responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request should be withheld in full pursuant to FOIA Exemption 5 which protects ‘inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.’ ” Judicial Watch appealed the decision and was supposed to receive a response by September 11. They received nothing.
“It certainly appears that the president improperly invoked executive privilege to cover up the Fast and Furious scandal and protect his corrupt Attorney General,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It’s long past time for the Obama administration to come clean and complete the public record on one of the most egregious violations of public trust in modern political history. We hope our lawsuit pries loose more information and exposes Obama’s abuse of power in holding these records secret.”
The House of Representatives voted 255-67 to hold Mr. Holder in criminal contempt and 258-95 in civil contempt. Both votes were bipartisan.