A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Justice Department to give Congress a list of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that the Obama administration is withholding under claims of executive privilege.
The Washington Post reports:
In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The Justice Department says the documents should remain confidential, and President Obama has invoked executive privilege in an effort to protect them from public disclosure.
In Operation Fast and Furious, federal agents intentionally allowed roughly 2,000 guns to illegally cross the border into Mexico and end up in the hands of violent drug cartels. The intent was to follow the weapons, but federal agents lost track of them. The guns have since turned up at crime scenes, including the 2010 murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Congressional Republicans subpoenaed thousands of documents from the Obama administration as part of their investigation into the scandal and eventually held U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn all of them over.
“This administration has been so intent on hiding the contents of these documents that it allowed Attorney General Holder to be held in contempt instead of just turning them over to Congress,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said in a statement. “The privilege log will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens.”