Issues

Justice Department: Sharyl Attkisson Was ‘Out of Control’

Emails show Obama admin reaching out to CBS to squelch reporting

Sharyl Attkisson
Sharyl Attkisson

A Department of Justice public affairs official called CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson "out of control" for her coverage of the Fast and Furious scandal, and even called her editors at the broadcast network to complain, emails obtained by the watchdog group Judicial Watch show.

Former Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler complained that Attkisson was "out of control" in a 2011 email to White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz. Schmaler wrote that she was going to call CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer and Attkisson’s editor to complain.

Schultz replied: "Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG."

Attkisson’s adversarial reporting on the Obama administration allegedly led to tension between her and CBS executives. She resigned from the network in 2014, and has since released a book, Stonewalled, which describes what she alleges were the Obama administration’s efforts to block and discourage her reporting, including hacking her computer.

The emails were some of the more than 10,000 that the Justice Department released to Judicial Watch on Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The Obama administration originally claimed executive privilege over the tranche of emails related to Operation Fast and Furious, a botched DEA sting that resulted in thousands of guns crossing over the Mexican border and into the hands of drug cartels.

"Judicial Watch’s tenacious lawsuit has led to the first public disclosure of Fast and Furious documents at the heart of the historic contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement. "These documents, many of which are heavily blacked out, withheld for over two years by President Obama, are a road map [of]  the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious cover-up and deadly lies. "