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‘Election Eve Dump’: DOJ Turns Over 64,000 Fast and Furious Documents Held Under Obama's Executive Privilege

Photo Credit: TownHall

Photo Credit: TownHall

Document Dump on Election Eve Reveals Obama’s/Holder’s Desperation to Hide Fast and Furious Facts

By Katie Pavlich.

After years of legal battles between the House Oversight Committee and Attorney General Eric Holder, 64,280 redacted Operation Fast and Furious documents held under President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege since 2012, have been turned over by the Department of Justice after an order from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The Justice Department was originally ordered to turn over a list of documents, better known as a Vaughn Index, with explanations as to why documents fall under executive privilege claims by November 1.

“When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress. Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue,” Chairman Darrell Issa said in a statement. “I am deeply concerned that some redactions to these documents may still be inappropriate and contrary to the judge’s order in the case. This production is nonetheless a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check Executive Branch power. As the production is extensive and may contain sensitive information, our investigative staff will be carefully examining the documents turned over last night.”

Read more from this story HERE.

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HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM’S STATEMENT ON DOCUMENT DUMP

By oversight.house.gov.

Last night, in response to an Order from a Federal judge, the Department of Justice turned over 64,280 pages of documents that were withheld from Congress after President Obama asserted Executive Privilege on the eve of a contempt citation for Attorney General Eric Holder in June 2012. The sheer volume of last night’s document production—which consists entirely of documents that the Justice Department itself acknowledges are not covered by Executive Privilege—shows that the President and the Attorney General attempted to extend the scope of the Executive Privilege well beyond its historical boundaries to avoid disclosing documents that embarrass or otherwise implicate senior Obama Administration officials.

In effect, last night’s production is an admission that the Justice Department never had legitimate grounds to withhold these documents in the first place. Approximately two-thirds of the universe of documents that the Justice Department withheld from Congress has now been shown to be well outside the scope of Executive Privilege.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today made the following statement on the Department of Justice’s document production related to the agency’s cover-up of Operation Fast and Furious:

“When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first Attorney General held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress. Since these pages still do not represent the entire universe of the documents the House of Representatives is seeking related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of the botched gun-walking scandal that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol agent, our court case will continue. I am deeply concerned that some redactions to these documents may still be inappropriate and contrary to the judge’s order in the case. This production is nonetheless a victory for the legislative branch, a victory for transparency, and a victory for efforts to check Executive Branch power. As the production is extensive and may contain sensitive information, our investigative staff will be carefully examining the documents turned over last night.”

Read more HERE.

Holder's Wife Linked to 'Fast and Furious' and Abortion Clinic Fraud

Photo Credit: on.aol.comWhile outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder continues to fend off responsibility for the law enforcement snafu known as Operation Fast and Furious, documents obtained through a judge’s order reveal that not only did Holder know about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), but he discussed it via email with his physician spouse, Sharon Malone, however President Barack Obama is granting those emails to be withheld based on an “executive privilege” claim.

While most media organizations are quick to give President Barack Obama, Holder and others the “benefit of the doubt,” in Holder’s wife’s case they actually turned a blind eye to corruption that included alleged confict-of-interest. For example, Dr. Malone is no stranger to controversy: While Holder had been blasted for his failure to investigate alleged crimes involving abortion clinics, his wife, Sharon, and his sister-in-law co-owned an abortion clinic run by an abortion physician, Tyrone Cecile Malloy, who was indicted by a Georgia grand jury on charges of Medicaid fraud after Holder’s office failed to prosecute the alleged fraud.

The Fast and Furious documents, according to the prolific government watchdog group Judicial Watch, include the emails between the attorney general and his wife regarding a White House statement on the “gun walking” scandal that the White House wanted kept secret.

On July 18, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge John Bates ordered the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to produce, a Vaughn Index of withheld documents regarding Fast and Furious which the DOJ grudgingly released on October 22. When the DOJ asked the court to delay the release day until later in November — a ploy to avoid their release before the mid-term elections — Judge Bates denied the obviously politically-motivated request to delay the release until after the Nov. 4, 2014, elections.

In a Vaughn Index, the government must list each withheld document, state the statutory exemption claimed for it and explain how the disclosure of each document would damage the governmental interests asserted by the exemption. Malone is not a government employee or a member of the Obama White House, and so the executive privilege claim rings hollow with many legal scholars.

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.

Judicial Watch: Fast and Furious AK-47 Used in Phoenix Assault

Government watchdog Judicial Watch said Thursday documents it obtained show an AK-47 rifle used in a gang-style assault in Phoenix last year was part of the Department of Justice’s botched Fast and Furious gunrunning operation.

In a statement, the group noted Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley and California Republican Rep. Darryl Issa wrote to Deputy Attorney General James Cole, blasting the department for not providing Congress or the public with any information about the weapon.

Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Issa is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“Based on the serial number [1977DX1654] from the police report obtained by Judicial
Watch and documents obtained during our Fast and Furious investigation, we can
confirm that the assault rifle recovered in the vehicle on July 30, 2013, was purchased by
Sean Christopher Stewart,” the lawmakers wrote.

During the controversial operation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed weapons from the United States to pass into the hands of gun smugglers so they could be traced to Mexican drug cartels. But instead, the release triggered violence that could be traced back to those weapons, critics charge.

Read more from this story HERE.

Fast and Furious: Phoenix Sued by Judicial Watch Over Federal Documents Related to Guns Used in Gang Shootout

Photo Credit: TownHallGovernment watchdog Judicial Watch has sued the City of Phoenix Police Department over documents surrounding a 2013 gang-style assault on an apartment complex. Long-guns, a handgun, empty casings and buildings riddled with bullets were reported at the scene and two people were wounded in the incident. When the incident occurred and during investigation afterward, police worked with federal law enforcement agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency in the case, raising suspicions the assault wasn’t simply a typical, local gang shootout and prompted questions about the details of the people involved in the shooting in addition to where the weapons that were used came from. Suspects were arrested in the weeks following the incident.

Judicial Watch is seeking all records and communications between Phoenix police and the federal agencies involved. It is suspected the weapons used in the incident are connected to Operation Fast and Furious.

A. Complete copy (including supplements) of Phoenix Police Department report 201-3-01-344558 (621 N. 3Oth Pl., Phx. AZ on or around July 29, 2013). Including but, not limited to copies of crime scene photographs, impound property invoices, audio interviews, case status reports, booking slips, charging documents, and Maricopa County Attorney court /trial/case disposition records.

Read more from this story HERE.

Fast and Furious Documents Must be Provided to Congress, Judge Rules

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

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 Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege in an effort to protect them from public disclosure.

The House panel says the Justice Department documents might explain why the department took nearly a year to admit that federal agents had engaged in a controversial law enforcement tactic known as gun-walking.

The Justice Department has long prohibited the risky practice. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used it with disastrous results in a federal law enforcement probe in Arizona, Operation Fast and Furious.

Read more from this story HERE.

Court Releases 'Fast and Furious' Info Withheld by Obama

Photo Credit: WND

Photo Credit: WND

A federal court has ruled that the Obama Department of Justice must turn over to the non-profit watchdog group Judicial Watch an index of materials related to the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal that were withheld by the White House under executive privilege claims.

Judicial Watch sued because the government didn’t respond to its Freedom of Information Act requests in June and September of 2012.

The ruling by Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time, to provide a Vaughn Index, a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress about the scandal along with justification for each withholding.

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Fitton said the information could, for the first time, provide specific details about “who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Suddenly ‘Outraged’ Boehner Unloads on WH Over IRS, Benghazi, Fast & Furious: “They Owe the American People the Truth” (+video)

john_boehner_034At his weekly press briefing today, Speaker Boehner unloaded on the White House for refusing to tell the American people the truth about the IRS, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious:

“The frustration is, is that the American people have not been told the truth about what happened at the IRS.

“The American people have not been told the truth about what happened in Fast and Furious.

Read more from this story HERE.

Darrell Issa: Reprimand of ‘Fast and Furious’ Official Justifies Eric Holder Contempt Lawsuit

Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa believes new disciplinary action against a government operative in the “Fast and Furious” gun running scandal reinforces a Congressional contempt charge against Attorney General Eric Holder.

Issa, R-Calif., said former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke “undoubtedly deserved” the reprimand he received from the Arizona State Bar for leaking information to the press about the gun-running operation. Issa said it also justifies the GOP-led lawsuit against Holder for information relating to the matter.

“Dennis Burke’s disciplinary agreement with the Arizona State Bar makes clear his belief that Eric Holder’s Justice Department was more interested in politically protecting itself than giving Congress full information about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious,” Issa said on Monday.

Burke was reprimanded last week by the Arizona Bar for leaking classified Fast and Furious documents to two media outlets.

Republican lawmakers are entangled with Holder in a court case stemming from a June 2012 House vote to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents and emails related to the gun-trafficking case.

Read more from this story HERE.