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USDA/Justice Department Margins Workshop

California’s Embarrassing Hire of a Failed Attorney General to Take on Trump

The California Legislature is hiring former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to represent the state in expected fights with the new Trump administration over environmental, immigration, and criminal justice issues.

But based on Holder’s track record, don’t expect to see California racking up legal victories.

Although nobody is questioning the skills of the attorneys at Holder’s firm Covington & Burling, hiring Holder as, essentially, California’s outside counsel seems like an odd choice given that the Justice Department under Holder (and continued under Loretta Lynch) has one of the worst records of any modern presidency before the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, losing far more cases than either of the Justice Departments of the prior Bush or Clinton presidencies.

Holder is also the only attorney general in history to be held in contempt by Congress for withholding documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, the most reckless law enforcement operation ever conducted by the Justice Department. That operation has resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, as well as many Mexican citizens.

That also reflects poorly on Holder’s legal judgment.

Some may say that California is just preparing to do what other states like Texas have done in successfully suing the federal government during the Obama administration. But those cases are very different than what California is apparently planning to do.

The states have been suing to stop unconstitutional conduct by the executive branch when President Barack Obama failed in his duty to “faithfully execute” the law or acted unilaterally in ways that improperly changed the law.

The president does not have the authority to change, rewrite, or ignore federal laws he does not like. And federal agencies do not have the power to issue regulations outside the bounds of the statutes authorizing their conduct.

Stopping that type of misbehavior is the opposite of states attempting to obstruct enforcement of federal law or force the federal government to act outside its limited power.

For example, 26 states were successful in obtaining an injunction against Obama’s immigration amnesty plan because no president has the power to alter federal immigration law to provide amnesty and government benefits that have not been authorized by Congress or to decide that he will wholesale not enforce the law.

But California is going to try to prevent the new administration from enforcing federal immigration law despite the fact that the Constitution clearly gives Congress plenary authority over immigration and imposes a duty on the president (and thus the executive branch) to enforce the law.

Similarly, one of the reasons for California’s economic decline and severe budget shortfall problems is that it has been rated as the worst state in the country to do business in for the past 12 years in an annual survey of CEOs by the Chief Executive Network because of its high taxes and burdensome regulations.

As one CEO said in the survey, “California has been running businesses out of the state for years, and in fact, their policies are getting worse.”

Yet the state is hiring Holder to start a crusade against any efforts by the Trump administration to reduce the severe federal regulatory burden that adds to the negative effects on businesses and consumers that California already imposes.

Furthermore, the news that the California Legislature is hiring Holder came only a day after Gov. Jerry Brown nominated Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, to be California’s new state attorney general.

Neither Brown nor Kevin de Leon, the Democratic leader of the state Senate who was quoted in a New York Times article praising Holder’s retention, seemed to realize the complete lack of confidence retaining Holder shows in Becerra’s legal ability to carry out his role as attorney general—which is defending the state of California and its interests in environmental, immigration, and criminal justice issues.

This is particularly humiliating for Becerra given that he had told the Los Angeles Times that he intends to protect California’s “progressive” policies on immigration, Obamacare, energy, and criminal justice.

Becerra has already challenged the federal government, saying that “If you want to take on a forward-leaning state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, then come at us.”

Looks like he is not going to get that chance, however, even if he is confirmed as the attorney general. Those cases will instead be handled by Holder and an entire team of lawyers at Holder’s private law firm, Covington & Burling, a premier Washington, D.C., law firm not exactly known for its low billing rates.

There is little doubt that California taxpayers, who are already living in a state with high taxes and huge budget problems, are going to get soaked for a lot of legal costs in addition to the price they already pay for the Office of the State Attorney General, which has 4,500 lawyers, investigators, police officers, and other staff.

Apparently, however, the California Legislature doubts their ability to fulfill their duties of defending the state’s interests.

All of this illustrates that the California Legislature has made a poor—but no doubt a very expensive—choice that will hurt the state.

But it is hardly surprising, I suppose, that the state would hire a former attorney general whose Justice Department did everything it could to defend the mountain of new, out-of-control regulations issued by the Obama administration in order to try to keep those economically costly regulations in place.

Nor is it shocking that an attorney general who did everything he could to avoid enforcing federal immigration law during the Obama administration will now try to help California obstruct the enforcement of federal immigration law during the Trump administration.

Holder’s goals seem to have stayed the same; it’s just the playing field that has changed. (For more from the author of “California’s Embarrassing Hire of a Failed Attorney General to Take on Trump” please click HERE)

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Why US Attorney General Eric Holder Used Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Birth Name as His Official Email Address

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder is a huge fan of NBA hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

So much so that Holder used Abdul-Jabbar’s birth name, Lew Alcindor, as an alias for his official Department of Justice (DOJ) email account, raising more questions about the email practices of top Obama administration officials, and about the ability of US government agencies to track down correspondence in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The Lew Alcindor revelation was made in a February 16 letter that DOJ sent to VICE News and Ryan Shapiro, a historian and doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in national security research . . .

The letter was part of about 500 pages of heavily redacted emails and other documents given to VICE News and Shapiro in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed in late 2014. The documents show that Justice Department officials sent emails to Lew Alcindor regarding calls from lawmakers for a federal investigation into claims that CIA personnel spied on Senate staffers while the Senate was drafting a report about the CIA’s torture program. Holder’s name does not appear anywhere in his Lew Alcindor email account. (Read more from “While US Attorney General, Eric Holder Used Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Birth Name as His Official Email Address” HERE)

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Obama’s Lawless Administration: Eric Holder Used a Secret Email Address as Well

By Jonathan Strong. Attorney General Eric Holder used secretive email accounts under aliases during his tenure at the Justice Department, raising fresh questions about the Obama administration’s compliance with federal records laws as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reels from her own email scandal.

Holder has emailed under the nom de plume “Henry Yearwood” in the past, former Justice Department officials say. The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that Holder had used three aliases. The current is unknown.

Republicans familiar with the issue said that even when congressional officials traveled to the Justice Department for so-called “in camera” review of documents, Holder’s email address had been redacted, despite the fact that the documents were not being released. (Read more about Eric Holder’s secret email address HERE)


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‘Equality Is Still the Prize,’ Holder Says in Selma

By Mark Hensch. Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday praised America’s progress on race since the civil rights era while urging stronger voting rights.


“Equality is still the prize,” Holder said in Selma, Ala. “Still, even now, it is clear that we have more work to do; that beloved community is not yet formed; that our society is not yet at a just peace.”

Holder delivered his comments in observation of the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. in 1965. The historic event took place 50th years ago this weekend and inspired the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

“This means standing up, and speaking out, for the civil rights which everyone in this country is entitled,” Holder said. “It means calling attention to persistent disparities and inequities. And it means working tirelessly to safeguard and to exercise the right to vote.” (Read more from this story HERE)

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Eric Holder: DOJ Still Conducting Ferguson Probes, Civil Rights “Investigation” to be Completed Soon

Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday he will announce results of the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation of the shooting death of Michael Brown, as well as a broader probe of the Ferguson Police Department, before he leaves office in the coming weeks.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Holder said he was briefed last week on the separate investigations.

Holder said he is “confident” that decisions on both will be ready before Loretta Lynch, who has been nominated to replace him by President Barack Obama, is confirmed by the Senate.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. A St. Louis County grand jury decided to not indict Wilson. The Justice Department launched separate investigations of the shooting and the “patterns and practices” of the police department.

The nomination of Lynch, a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has been largely noncontroversial, although Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced last week that he would vote against her to protest the Obama administration’s judicial policies. A Senate vote to confirm Lynch could come by early next month, if not sooner. (Read more on what Eric Holder said about the Ferguson probes HERE)

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Ex-FBI Special Agent Calls Eric Holder Out For His Epic Failures

K. Dee McCown, a former Special Agent who served 12-years with the FBI, wrote an absolutely damning open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. Mr. McCown, the Director of Global Security and Loss Prevention for the multi-billion dollar industrial supply company W.W. Grainger, recently verified his authorship of the letter stating “It’s time to stand up and speak truth to power.”

Hitting Holder for inflaming racial tensions in the country, Mr. McCown stated that he was

appalled at your lack of leadership as the Attorney General of the United States and your blatant politicizing of the Department of Justice. Your actions, both publicly and privately, have done nothing to quell the complex racial issues we face in our country and have done everything to inflame them. As the “top cop” of the United States, you share in the blame for much of the violence and protests we are now witnessing against law enforcement officers honorably serving throughout our nation.

As an example, he points out how Holder reacted to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson:

At a decisive moment in history when our nation required a strong and unbiased voice from its’ senior law enforcement official, you Mr. Holder, made it your personal mission to join with other racial antagonist and politicize a tragic event, accusing a young white police officer of a racially motivated killing in what we now know was a justified self-defense shooting of a predatory felon. Your behavior is unbelievable. You sir, have sacrificed your integrity on the altar of political expediency. You, Mr. Holder, are the “coward” and hypocrite you so loudly denounce when speaking of broken race relations in America.

Mr. McCown also hammers Holder’s sordid relationship with the “charlatan, ‘the Reverend’ Al Sharpton”:

[L]aw enforcement officers around the country remain dismayed and shocked at the counsel you keep; that being your close relationship with none other than Al Sharpton, a racist “shake down artist” who spreads hate, divisiveness and the promotion of anti-law enforcement sentiment throughout the country; a tax evading fraudster who has unbelievably visited the White House over 80 times in recent years. It is simply beyond my comprehension as a former federal law enforcement professional, that you, the Attorney General of the United States, joined arms in common cause with a charlatan like “the Reverend” Al Sharpton; and it speaks volumes to your personal character and lack of professional judgment.

Mr. McCown identifies one of the root causes of inner city turmoil the “absence of strong male leadership in fatherless black families.” He goes on to describe the “reason that our local police officers are so often entwined in tragic events in black communities is because it is the police that have filled the void in these communities that should be occupied by moral and strong black men leading family units with Godly values.”

His conclusion is damning:

Mr. Holder, the public is aware of FBI statistics that tell a different story than the one you and Sharpton preach. We know that young African American males, representing a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, are by far the greatest perpetrators of violent crime in America when compared to their peers in other ethnic groups, and, we know that citizens of African American descent overwhelmingly make up the majority of their victims. We also know that incidents where white police officers shoot and kill black perpetrators are rare and on the decline. We know further that although there are legitimate and bona fide Federal Civil Rights investigations in the United States worthy of pursuing, they are miniscule when compared to the false narrative portrayed by you, President Obama and Sharpton declaring rampant discrimination against African American men by police officers throughout the country. You are just plain wrong.

The entirety of Mr. McCown’s letter where the ex-special agent calls Eric Holder out for his “appalling lack of leadership” appears below.

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K. Dee McCown

College Station, Texas
December 28, 2014
Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder,

It is unlikely that we met while I served in the FBI. That being said, we served at the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the same years and on the same “team” conceptually speaking. During my service in the FBI I worked with a number of U.S. Attorney Offices in the United States to include a tour at FBIHQ where I worked with the Department of Justice (Main) on a daily basis.

I begin my letter with this comment to highlight that I am not a bystander on the topic of law enforcement in the United States. I worked and managed a variety of federal investigations during my 12 years of service in the FBI, to include the management of several Civil Rights cases in the State of Texas. In fact, during my last tour in the Bureau, I was an FBI Supervisor responsible for managing federal investigations in nine (9) Texas counties, many of which were rural; in places where one would suspect racism to flourish given the narrative often pushed by Hollywood and urban progressive elites like yourself. I performed this mission diligently and under the close supervision of two FBI managers; an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) and Special Agent in Charge (SAC,) both of which happened to be African American and outstanding law enforcement professionals. I also performed this mission serving side by side with a variety of law enforcement agencies at the Federal, State and local level.

I have observed you closely during your tenure as Attorney General and notably during these last tumultuous years; watching you negotiate a number of controversial public matters to include the ATF Fast and Furious scandal, Black Panther Party intimidation at voting booths, IRS targeting of American citizens (citizen groups opposed to the Obama Administration,) the ignoring of US Immigration laws, DOJ criminal indictments of select news reporters and your management of several high profile criminal investigations involving subjects of race, notably African Americans.

Until today, I chose to hold my tongue. However, with the assassination of two NYPD Lieutenants last weekend in New York City, at the hands of a African American man with a lengthy criminal record, fresh from his participation in anti-police activities; coupled with numerous “don’t shoot, hands up,” and “black lives matter” anti-police protests (some of which are violent) occurring daily around the nation, I am compelled to write you this letter.

To be blunt Mr. Holder, I am appalled at your lack of leadership as the Attorney General of the United States and your blatant politicizing of the Department of Justice. Your actions, both publicly and privately, have done nothing to quell the complex racial issues we face in our country and have done everything to inflame them. As the “top cop” of the United States, you share in the blame for much of the violence and protests we are now witnessing against law enforcement officers honorably serving throughout our nation.

During one of your first public speeches as Attorney General you made it a point to call America “a nation of cowards” concerning race relations. That speech, followed by other public announcements where you emphatically opined that the odds were stacked against African Americans in regard to the enforcement of law, your intention to change the law and permit convicted felons to vote after incarceration, and your changes to federal law ending “racial profiling,” are poignant examples of how detached you remain from the challenges faced by law enforcement officers serving in crime ridden neighborhoods throughout the nation.

These opinions are also indicative of a man that lives and works in the elitist “bubble” of Washington D.C.

Your performance, as the nation’s Attorney General, during the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Florida and the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri clearly highlights your myopic view on this topic. Contrary to your embarrassing prejudgment in the Brown case and evasive post trial remarks on the Martin case, neither Brown nor Martin were targeted and/or killed because of their African American race.

Rather, as non-emotive investigations determined, both teens died as a consequence of their own tragic and egregious behavior; behavior that involved a violent assault on a law abiding citizen in the Trayvon Martin case, and a violent assault on a young police officer in the Michael Brown case. Yet you, as the number one spokesman for law enforcement in the country, blame the deaths of these men on years of institutional racism and the alleged epidemic targeting of African American men by police departments around the country; nothing could be further from the truth. Following the Michael Brown case Grand Jury decision all you could muster was the following comment: “The Department of Justice is currently investigating not only the shooting but also the Ferguson police department in what is called a “patterns and practices” inquiry to determine if the police department has engaged in systematic racism.”

So, let’s get this straight. At a decisive moment in history when our nation required a strong and unbiased voice from its’ senior law enforcement official, you Mr. Holder, made it your personal mission to join with other racial antagonist and politicize a tragic event, accusing a young white police officer of a racially motivated killing in what we now know was a justified self-defense shooting of a predatory felon. Your behavior is unbelievable. You sir, have sacrificed your integrity on the altar of political expediency. You, Mr. Holder, are the “coward” and hypocrite you so loudly denounce when speaking of broken race relations in America.

Further to this point Mr. Holder, law enforcement officers around the country remain dismayed and shocked at the counsel you keep; that being your close relationship with none other than Al Sharpton, a racist “shake down artist” who spreads hate, divisiveness and the promotion of anti-law enforcement sentiment throughout the country; a tax evading fraudster who has unbelievably visited the White House over 80 times in recent years. It is simply beyond my comprehension as a former federal law enforcement professional, that you, the Attorney General of the United States, joined arms in common cause with a charlatan like “the Reverend” Al Sharpton; and it speaks volumes to your personal character and lack of professional judgment.

Violent crime, out of wedlock births, drug abuse, rampant unemployment and poverty found in many low-income minority neighborhoods are not a result of racist community policing and racial profiling as you so quickly assert, and frankly most law abiding Americans are exhausted of hearing this false narrative repeated time and again by you and others in the racial grievance industry. While no one, me included, would ever suggest that African Americans have not suffered from institutional racism in the past, I would strongly argue that we no longer live in the Mississippi of 1965, nor do we live in a country that even closely resembles the “Jim Crow” South of yesteryear. Those days, thankfully, are in the past as are the generations of Americans that supported such egregious behavior and endured such suffering.

Rather, Mr. Holder, we live in a day and time where the root cause of many problems faced in our African American communities can be attributed to the breakdown of civil order due to the rejection of institutional and family authority and the practice of counter-culture values; and most notably, from the absence of strong male leadership in fatherless black families. The reason that our local police officers are so often entwined in tragic events in black communities is because it is the police that have filled the void in these communities that should be occupied by moral and strong black men leading family units with Godly values. You, Mr. Holder, especially, should be thanking the police rather than persecuting them for the gap they fill in these communities because if it were not for the intervention of local police many African American neighborhoods would be in a state of total anarchy.

Yet tragically, you and your race-baiting colleague Al Sharpton (a paid media personality under contract with MSNBC news) choose to remain silent because to publicly speak this self-evident truth threatens to not only alienate and offend the most loyal voting constituency of the Democratic Party but diminish your and Al Sharpton’s self-serving power base in these suffering communities. God forbid that you would suggest individual citizens accept responsibility for their own behavior and the collective failure of their communities; it is so much easier for you and others like you to make excuses, play the victim card, and pander rather than address the real root causes that plague many low income neighborhoods.

Mr. Holder, the public is aware of FBI statistics that tell a different story than the one you and Sharpton preach. We know that young African American males, representing a tiny fraction of the U.S. population, are by far the greatest perpetrators of violent crime in America when compared to their peers in other ethnic groups, and, we know that citizens of African American descent overwhelmingly make up the majority of their victims. We also know that incidents where white police officers shoot and kill black perpetrators are rare and on the decline. We know further that although there are legitimate and bona fide Federal Civil Rights investigations in the United States worthy of pursuing, they are miniscule when compared to the false narrative portrayed by you, President Obama and Sharpton declaring rampant discrimination against African American men by police officers throughout the country. You are just plain wrong.

In closing Mr. Holder I will leave you with this thought; you were given a rare opportunity to lead with integrity during a variety of divisive and controversial issues during your tenure as the 82d Attorney General of the United States and rather than be a man of moral courage you chose instead to cower, further inflame racial tensions, advance false narratives and play progressive political activist.

Time and again you chose to “politicize” the mission of the Department of Justice rather than pursue justice and now, tragically, we are witnessing the fruits of your irresponsible behavior in the murder of two innocent police officers in New York City, assassinated by a man motivated by the flames of racial hatred that you personally fanned. How many more police officers will be injured or die in the coming days because of the perilous conditions you helped create in this nation. You, President Obama and Al Sharpton own this problem lock, stock and barrel and now it is your legacy.

As thousands of NYPD officers turn their collective back on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, another dishonest politician and Sharpton disciple, so too do countless Federal law enforcement officers turn our backs on you.

K. Dee McCown
FBI (1997 – 2008)

CC: Senator Mitch McConnell
Senator John Cornyn
Senator Ted Cruz
Senator Harry Reid
The Honorable Bill Flores
The Honorable John Boehner
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

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Obama, Top US Officials Fail to Attend Unity March Against Islamic Extremism

Photo Credit: Fox News By Fox News. Attorney General Eric Holder is in Paris to attend a meeting on fighting terrorism, but did not participate in a march with world leaders Sunday to honor the 17 people killed last week in France.

More than 40 world leaders marched arm in arm through Paris to rally for unity and freedom of expression and to honor the victims of the three days of terrorist attacks.

The leaders headed a demonstration of at least tens of thousands of people who converged on the capital after three gunmen last week attacked a newspaper office, kosher supermarket and police.

Among the world leaders attending the event, under extremely tight security, are French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Holder is the top Obama administration official to attend the terrorism meeting. Secretary of State Kerry is in India attending an international investment conference and push to trade ties with the giant South Asian nation ahead of visit by President Obama later this month. (Read more about the top US official failing to attend HERE)

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Obama Fails to Attend Unity March as Well

By Newsmax. As many as 1.6 million people marched through Paris on Sunday in a massive show of unity and defiance in the face of terrorism that killed 17 people in France’s bleakest moment in half a century.

The march ended without major incident by 9 p.m. Sunday, Paris police said.

Their arms linked, more than 40 world leaders headed the somber procession, setting aside their differences for a manifestation that French President Francois Hollande said turned the city into “the capital of the world” . . .

Notable for his absence was President Barack Obama. (Read more from this story HERE)

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Holder: Dressing Transgendered Is A Civil Right

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

On Thursday, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced a new interpretation of the Civil Rights Act meant to prevent employers from discriminating against people who claim the status of a transgendered person.

Holder announced in a memo that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex, also applies to the transgendered.

“This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder said in the announcement. “This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Eric Holder Email: ‘Some People Can Kiss My A**’

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Frustrated with U.S. Attorneys who disagreed with a decision to force a fellow U.S. Attorney to resign in the aftermath of the failed Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, Attorney General Eric Holder advised in an email that his critics “can kiss my ass.”

Holder sent the email Aug. 30, 2011 in response to a Department of Justice deputy who relayed the news that around 25 U.S. Attorneys throughout the country were “upset” with how the forced resignation was handled.

The exchange is included in nearly 65,000 pages of emails related to Fast and Furious that DOJ was forced to turn over this week to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Wall Street Journal published the newest release on Friday.

The documents have been at the center of a multi-year battle between DOJ and Oversight chairman Darrell Issa. Though Holder has claimed to have had no knowledge of the failed operation until well after it was started, he has refused to turn over documents requested by Issa.

Read more from this story HERE.

Valerie Jarrett Key Player in Fast and Furious Cover-Up After Holder Lied to Congress

Photo Credit: Breitbart President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal, according to public records obtained by Judicial Watch.

The information is part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) “Vaughn index” detailing records about the gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious. JW had to sue the agency for the records after the Obama administration failed to provide them under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A federal court ordered the DOJ to provide the records over the agency’s objections. Yesterday JW reported on the broad information in the records, including that Obama asserted executive privilege for Holder’s wife as part of the administration’s efforts to cover up the scandal.

Practically lost in the 1,000-plus pages of records is an index that shows Jarrett was brought in to manage the fact that Holder lied to Congress after the story about the disastrous gun-running operation broke in the media. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran the once-secret program that allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

Read more from this story HERE.

Obama Asks Judge To Hide Emails To Attorney General Holder’s Wife

By NEIL MUNRO.

President Barack Obama is asking a judge to keep secret the contents of emails apparently sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

The request is part of Obama’s three-year stonewall against Judicial Watch’s inquiry into the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, during which the Department of Justice watched while military-style weapons were bought in the United States and smuggled to Mexican drug gangs. The scandal went public once one of Obama’s employees — a U.S. border guard — was killed by a criminal using one of the smuggled guns.

Late Oct. 22, moments before a judicial deadline, the White House sent the judge a 1,307-page list of 15,662 Fast and Furious documents that it wants to keep hidden from Judicial Watch and the public.

The list includes almost 20 emails between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon Malone.

Read more from this story HERE.

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Obama Asserts Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Claim for Holder’s Wife

Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) a “Vaughn index” detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW’s June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). A federal court had ordered the production over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.

The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal. Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act. The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.

This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The 1307-page “draft” Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline. In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are “subject to the assertion of executive privilege.”

The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption. The Vaughn index arguably fails to provide all of this required information but does provide plenty of interesting information for a public kept in the dark for years about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Read more from this story HERE.