Obama responsible for Fast and Furious-

Obama responsible for Fast and Furious–52gh.,b26

The authorities seized a .50-caliber rifle in Guzman’s possession. When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) checked its serial number, they found that it was one of the rifles they had allowed straw buyers to purchase as part of Operation Fast and Furious, and then lost track of when the guns crossed the border into Mexico.

Out of the estimated 2,000 weapons that the ATF lost track of in Operation Fast and Furious, 34 were .50-caliber rifles. That is just one reason why Operation Fast and Furious was probably the most reckless law enforcement operation ever conducted by a federal agency—or as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said, a “felony stupid” operation.

While the Justice Department turned over some materials to Congress, Holder refused to provide any DOJ/ATF records created after February 4, 2011. On June 19, 2012, the Justice Department informed Congress that Obama had asserted executive privilege over all documents after Feb. 4. Less than two week later, on June 28, the House of Representatives voted—for the first time in American history—to hold an attorney general in contempt. After the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia refused to enforce the contempt citation, the House filed its own civil suit against Holder, claiming that the assertion of executive privilege was invalid.

After the Justice Department kept revising its list of documents, Jackson finally determined that out of 13,753 “unique documents,” the Justice Department had turned over only 3,307 to Congress. The remaining 10,446 documents had been withheld by the Justice Department “in whole or in part” based on the deliberative process privilege (5,342 documents), law enforcement sensitivity (3,041 documents), privacy concerns (1,351 documents), and other miscellaneous reasons (792 documents). The deliberative process privilege covers conversations with the president, as well other communications among high-ranking executive branch officials “crucial to fulfillment of the unique role and responsibilities of the executive branch.”

Jackson decided that this privilege does cover the Justice Department’s internal deliberations about how to respond to the press and Congress, but it is a qualified privilege, meaning that a court can order the production if the public interests at stake override the privilege. Here, the Justice Department was claiming that disclosure would harm the ability of its lawyers to have internal deliberations.

. The inspector general issued a report on Fast and Furious, according to Jackson, that “laid bare the records of [DOJ’s] internal deliberations—and even published portions of interviews revealing its officials’ thoughts and impressions about those records.” Thus, “whatever incremental harm that could flow from providing the Committee with the records that have already been publicly disclosed is outweighed by the unchallenged need for the material.”

In fact, the Department of Justice can “point to no particular harm that could flow from compliance with this subpoena, for these records, that it did not already bring about itself.” The Justice Department listed nine documents it was withholding without giving a reason; those documents were ordered by Jackson to be produced. The judge also ordered the production of the “segregable portions of any records withheld in full or in part on the ground they contain attorney-client privileged material, attorney work product, private information, law enforcement sensitive material, or foreign policy sensitive materials.” Whether any additional records have to be produced, she said, “is a matter to be resolved between the parties themselves.”

There is a lot of leeway in Jackson’s order that may still allow the Justice Department to claim it does not have to turn over documents under the other exemptions it has asserted, such as the “law enforcement sensitivity” claim.

source–the daily signal, judge amy berman jackson


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