We have big news to report on the latest in the growing Operation Fast and Furious scandal implicating President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ). On November 18, 2014, Judicial Watch obtained a massive production of documents in response to a June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and our subsequent FOIA lawsuit.
All told, over 10,000 documents, which include about 42,000 pages, were disclosed to Judicial Watch. They are now available at this link.
Fast and Furious was a joint Justice Department-Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-running operation that the administration perpetrated, expecting it would bolster gun control proposals in the U.S. The idea was to allow guns to find their way into the arms of Mexican drug cartel members who would use them in criminal operations.
Some of the weapons used in Fast and Furious have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of innocent Mexicans. We have also obtained information through a lawsuit filed against the City of Phoenix, Arizona, that shows Congress has confirmed that an AK 47 rifle was used in a July 29, 2013, gang-style assault on an apartment building that resulted in the wounding of two people and was part of the Fast and Furious program.
Perhaps one of the most chilling exchanges JW uncovered in this latest batch of documents is a highly explosive email from a top DOJ official to a White House official. It reveals the lengths to which the administration went in order to target and silence then-CBS investigative journalist Sheryl Attkisson.
On October 4, 2011, Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, told White House Deputy Press Secretary 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.”
So here we have an email chain that implicates the Obama White House and the Justice Department in an effort to undermine a congressional investigation and to suppress media reports critical of Team Obama.
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.
This latest release is a tribute to our team of lawyers and investigators who broke through the Obama stonewall. 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 to 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 so let’s get to work together!
Judicial Watch’s team will pour through the ten thousand-plus pages to discover what other revealing Fast and Furious information Holder and Obama have been covering up. Rest assured that there is more to come, and we will keep you fully informed.