A federal judge on Tuesday rejected the Justice Department’s claim of executive privilege used to withhold certain documents tied to the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” scandal from release to a congressional committee.
House Republicans sued in federal court in 2012 to obtain thousands of emails related to the botched effort by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track guns across the Southwest border.
Revelations of the operation created a political firestorm and set off a documents dispute between former Attorney General Eric Holder and Congress that resulted in Holder being held in contempt of Congress.
The Justice Department had already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents, but Congress continued to seek additional records that the department argued it was entitled to withhold.
In her decision Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson Berman said it was inappropriate for the Justice Department to make a blanket assertion of executive privilege in part because the agency had already disclosed through other channels much of the information it wants to withhold.
“Since any harm that would flow from the disclosures sought here would be merely incremental, the records must be produced,” the judge wrote.
She said disputes over documents that the Justice Department has withheld on other grounds, such as for foreign policy and privacy concerns, are “best left to the process of negotiation and accommodation.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which has been seeking the documents, said the judge’s ruling will help the committee advance its investigation.
“While the decision doesn’t give us access to all the documents, it is an important step forward. We will continue investigating until we get to the truth,” he said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Stanley M. says
Was this a deal that Obama made with Mexico.. Let these guns in, knowing that Mexicans would be killed and we will open the borders for Mexicans to enter the U.S. ???????????
Yes, not only did they make a deal with the ATF unreported to you , your tax dollars have paid out millions to the families that lost love ones in MX from the gun running scam.
It was also a deal once the firearms were located in Mexico to tell the lie that we need more gun control. The dealers would be the scapegoats for Holder.The firearms dealers were told they had to approve of these straw purchases so Holder could again attack our second amendment rights. The NRA had several articles on this including quotes from ATF agents that were told to ignore the law and to let the sales be completed.
Why is it that someone in our government is continually breaking the law and is continually getting away wit it! I keep looking at posts where the GOP IS TRYING TO STOP Trump or Cruz is not eligible because he was born in Canada. Where in the hell was Obama born?? Look at Hillary, breaking the law daily and gets away with it! Look at Bill Clinton with his sexual abuse and Hillary’s lesbian issues! What in the world is going on in America. Looks like Satan is taking over America! Prosecute Obama and Hillary NOW!!
Edward Wilson says
Just proves over and over that Congress, the FBI and the Supreme Court are 100% impotent and KING Obama insured that so he can press on with his Dictatorship running at 100% this last 12 months and nothing or no one will stop him……………………………… OR Hillary and never Eric Holder. While I was in the military for 23 years and I did hold an above Top Secret clearance – if I had handled documents like Hillary has I would have been put “UNDER” the jail at Leavenworth for my entire life. She will win the election – the military will become a kindergarten of YES people and the Country will fall apart within the next 10 years……. Ain’t this a great place to be the “ELITE” and no one can stop them from destroying the great United States of America……….
Tim Barnett says
doris a. brown says
Eric Holder should be in jail. He helped made this deal and Obama and him tried to sweep it under the rug. We had an Border Agent, Terry, killed because of their actions. Eric Holder is a liar and shouldn’t have ever been Attorney General, as well as Obama shouldn’t have become President. Holder I haven’t been able to tolerate since he came on the political screen. He cares about blacks and that is it.
Isn’t it odd that of all the quality attorneys that could be attorney general he chose minorities both times. If a white person did this there would be a scream of prejudice.
Better than putting another muslimin that position! Lot of the Rep. Senators did not agree with the bitch. GOD BE WITH US!
Congressmen have a security clearance, and a NEED TO KNOW. So what is the problem with allowing them access to these papers? It is no more than another cover up made by Obama. We are in desperate need of another President, and Obama needs to be removed immediately. Is everyone on the take, and afraid to step up and Impeach Obama?
Edward Wilson says
YES YES and YES On the take is the word of the day and scared to death they will retire with their pockets empty when they are put out on the street for speaking up. Whistle blowers even have their own elite group and are prosecuted to the fullest – homeless and broke the rest of their lives………….Congress, the FBI and the Supreme Court are 100% impotent and HEIL Obama, Hillary and Eric Holder know it and will continue to walk away unscathed. Like Bill Clinton they may even become famous for all their dirty little misgivings even when it come to our children in the White House, WACO and Elliad (who everyone has forgotten about on an Easter morning).. Ain’t it a great Country and in 10 years it will be destroyed from within because no one will step up except – VOTE TRUMP
Alan Humphries says
Everything with this administration has stunk to high Heaven. What Nixon did pales in comparison to what this lawless administration has been involved in and look what happened to him. Do not seek help from the cowards in the GOP. They are as impotent as a wet noodle. I have been a faithful Republican for 32 years but no longer identify with them. We need a complete renovation of our so-called leaders in Washington. We needs someone with guts and courage. This country needs someone like Trump!
I agree with Allen H
I to no longer ID as republican never voted for a dummacrat.
Can’t tell one from another now
Also pissed with Generals and Admirals,whom are suspose to
Protect our nation,why haven’t
They removed these crooks and Idiots
From government offices?
We need Heros to step man up
Does anyone still believe that Obama(whoever he really is) EVER actually won the 2008 or 2012 election honestly? Obama was placed into the White House. All kinds of slimy means were used, such as the woman who said “Yes I voted for Obama, I voted six times”, voting machines that CAN be tampered with admitted by manufacturer, Military absentee ballots not sent out in time to be returned before deadline, ACORN bussed around to vote repeatedly where ID not required, dead people and neighbors (not voting) absentee ballots forged. SO GET READY BECAUSE THE SAME THING IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN IN 2016, unless we get really mouthy and serious about contacting Governors, Senators, HR, Tea Party, Judicial Watch, etc. Eric Holder is part of the Obama deception, cares about no American, only “One World Order!
Holder should be perp walked for his involvement in this “fast an furious” scandal. A truly STOOPID attempt to use gun running as an excuse to keep waging war on the 2nd amendment even though it was our Obama administration telling gun dealers to sell the weapons to straw buyers for the Mexican cartels. Cut a deal with Holder and give his a lesser charge so we can get a noose around the neck of the real promoter and dispenser of death on both sides of the border. His name is Barack Hussein Obama and he should be in a federal prison.
Hopefully Eric Holder will be found guilty he is not above the law and should be held guilty for running guns in a botched attempt to try and expand the drug empire that has been ruining lives in Mexico and the US