Administration surrenders Fast and Furious documents
by J.C. Derrick
Posted 11/04/14, 05:00 pm
WASHINGTON—The Department of Justice (DOJ) has turned over a cache of previously withheld documents that led House Republicans to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012.
DOJ released 64,280 pages on the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal to House investigators after a federal judge ruled they were not covered by President Barack Obama's executive privilege.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said the “sheer volume” of the production is an admission that DOJ never had legitimate grounds to withhold the documents. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the panel, called the development a “victory for the legislative branch” but said the lawsuit against the administration will continue.
“These pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s coverup,” Issa said. “I am deeply concerned that some redactions to these documents may still be inappropriate and contrary to the judge’s order in the case.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in conjunction with other agencies, ran Operation Fast and Furious from 2009 to 2011, facilitating illegal gun sales to Mexican drug cartels in order to track their movements. But ATF lost track of at least 1,400 weapons, including two that were used to kill border patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010.
The White House tried to freeze the Oversight committee’s probe by invoking executive privilege, but the House moved forward anyway with contempt proceedings, which Terry’s parents, Kent and Josephine Terry, supported: “Our son lost his life protecting this nation, and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious.”