Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement on Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder is resigning as his group is close to nailing the Department of Justice on Operation Fast and Furious.
Judicial Watch just won a key battle in federal court against the administration on the Fast and Furious documents President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over to hide them from the American people and Congress. Fitton said:
It is no coincidence that Holder’s resignation comes on the heels of another court ruling that the Justice Department must finally cough up documents about how Holder’s Justice Department lied to Congress and the American people about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, for which Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives. Over the past several months, Judicial Watch also exposed how Holder’s Justice Department was implicated in the IRS scandal and how Justice Department lawyers helped defend the illegal stonewall that kept secret key material related to Benghazi.
The court ruling to which Fitton is referring is an order by a federal judge that by Oct. 22 the DOJ must provide Judicial Watch with a listing of the Fast and Furious documents the administration is hiding under Obama’s executive privilege–called a “Vaughn index.”
“A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption,” Judicial Watch noted in its press release announcing the ruling on Thursday.
Fitton said that the resignation of the “disgraced Holder” is “past due accountability for Holder’s Fast and Furious lies, and I hope it brings some solace to the family of U.S. Border Patrol Brian Terry and the hundreds of innocent Mexicans likely killed thanks to the Holder Justice Department’s scheme that armed the murderous Mexican drug cartels.”
Fitton noted that Judicial Watch opposed Holder’s confirmation as Attorney General back in 2009, saying then that “Mr. Holder’s record demonstrates a willingness to bend the law in order to protect his political patrons.”
Congress didn’t listen to Judicial Watch then, and several Republicans joined with the Democrats to confirm his appointment as Attorney General. Fitton said:
The U.S. Senate, including many Republicans, ignored Holder’s record and confirmed a man who went on to be one of the worst Attorneys General of the modern era. Mr. Holder, his appointees, and his agency have lied repeatedly to Congress and the American people. He has damaged the Justice Department by putting politics, ideology, and race above the rule of law. Disturbingly, Mr. Holder refused to enforce the law in a race-neutral manner. And, when it comes to government transparency, Holder’s Justice Department became one of the worst violators of the Freedom of Information Act, manufacturing new legal excuses for government secrecy that would make Richard Nixon blush.
Judicial Watch has been all over Holder’s actions as Attorney General since he took office, aggressively investigating every scandal and nefarious move Holder has made. Judicial Watch has hit Holder for allegedly lying under oath to Congress about the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) voter intimidation scandal, for backing the White House and GSA decision to not arrest “Occupy” movement protestors who allegedly broke the law, for helping form the legal basis of Obama’s executive amnesty programs for illegal aliens, for sanctioning then FBI director Robert Mueller secretly meeting with Islamist groups, for voting rights issues, for coordinating with ACORN-connected projects, and so much more.
“In Eric Holder, President Obama found his John Mitchell – an attorney general who would lie, obstruct investigations, and ignore or simply not enforce the law in order to advance his president’s unbridled will,” Fitton said. “As the press is writing his political epitaph, I hope it is also remembered how Holder lied to Congress and how his agency assaulted Freedom of the Press by collecting the private email correspondence of reporters, seizing their phone records, and tracking their movements as part of an investigation of perceived leaks. ‘Justice’ took a holiday during Eric Holder’s reign at the Department of Justice. The man can’t leave office soon enough.”