Enter your email address and start getting breaking law firm and legal news right now!
Federal Court Holds Holder Should Submit Fast and Furious Documents
It seems Attorney General Eric Holder may not be able to continue withholding documents related to Operation Fast and Furious and keep them under the shroud of executive privilege. On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the DOJ’s petition to dismiss a suit over subpoenaed documents related to the Operation Fast and Furious.
While rejecting the petition by the Department of Justice to allow the Attorney General continue withholding the subpoenaed documents, US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson observed, “In the Court’s view, endorsing the proposition that the executive may assert an unreviewable right to withhold materials from the legislature would offend the Constitution more than undertaking to resolve the specific dispute that has been presented here. After all, the Constitution contemplates not only a separation, but a balance, of powers.”
Operation Fast and Furious was a covert operation of the US Department of Justice in which guns were smuggled into Mexico for the ostensible purpose of tracking them. Some of the same guns were used to kill U.S. border agents. When things became known the DOJ aborted the operation.
However, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee started an investigation and subpoenaed Attorney General Eric Holder to turn over documents relating to the Fast and Furious Operation, to the committee.
Holder found it prudent not to comply with the subpoenas. The Department of Justice backed him up by announcing that it was not going to prosecute Holder, and when the Oversight Committee voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, President Obama claimed the documents were protected by executive privilege.
A lawsuit was initiated by the House Oversight Committee over the subpoenaed documents in August last year asking for a court order requiring Holder to deliver the specific documents withheld under executive privilege. The DOJ moved to dismiss the lawsuit, the court, on Tuesday dismissed the DOJ’s petition.