Court Says Holder Can’t Stop Fast And Furious Truth
Investors Business Daily
Scandal: The truth about how and why Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata and hundreds of Mexican nationals were killed with weapons supplied by this administration may yet come out as a court lets a lawsuit proceed.
The most transparent administration in history suffered a defeat Monday, when U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson turned down the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit seeking “Fast and Furious” documents hidden by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department after President Obama invoked executive privilege.
The lawsuit was brought by Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the president asserted executive privilege to prevent records about the administration’s response to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal from being turned over to Congress.
The administration’s position was that the oversight committee’s demand for information and documents was settled by a Feb. 4, 2011, letter to Congress in which Assistant Attorney General Ron Welch, in response to the investigations by Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” program run out of ATF’s Phoenix office, stated that the “allegation that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons . . . is false.”
The Justice Department refused to turn over any documents after the date of the letter, contending there was nothing more to see and Congress should just move on.
When Oversight sued to get those documents, the administration argued that if the lawsuit were allowed to proceed, every new request for documents would be unjustifiably subject to litigation.
Later, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, in another letter to Congress, wrote: “Facts have come to light during the course of this investigation that indicate the Feb. 4 letter contains inaccuracies.” That letter was formally withdrawn. In other words, the Justice Department lied to Congress in covering up “Fast and Furious.”
President Obama’s supposed regard for the rule of law hit a new low when, on the eve of a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over these and other documents, he granted his AG’s 11th-hour request to hide sought-after documents on Operation Fast and Furious using executive privilege.
“I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-Feb. 4, 2011, documents,” Deputy AG Cole said in a letter that Issa received just before a scheduled hearing and vote. It apparently was not mentioned in a last-minute meeting between Issa and Holder the night before.
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