Oversight Chairman Discusses Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Documents Released By Obama

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Apr 14, 2016 1:10 PM
Oversight Chairman Discusses Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Documents Released By Obama

Last week President Obama finally turned over thousands of Fast and Furious documents to the House Oversight Committee after his 2012 executive privilege claim protecting Attorney General Eric Holder was struck down by a federal judge. As a refresher

Just moments before Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in contempt of Congress by Republicans and Democrats in June 2012 , President Obama asserted executive privilege over thousands of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. Holder was held in contempt for stonewalling and failing to turn over the documents to the House Oversight Committee. Obama granted the executive privilege request despite claiming to have no knowledge about Operation Fast and Furious when it was active from 2009-2010.

Now, some details about the documents are beginning to emerge, showing the Department of Justice only partially responded to subpoenas from Congress about the gun running operation.

"We had to pry these out of the administration. It was Senator Grassley who actually made the first inquiry," House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said during an interview with Special Report Wednesday. "Here in writing they [DOJ] are not complying with the law. They are breaking the law by telling us they're only going to provide a couple of the documents."

"When you have a duly issued subpoena, you must comply with it," Chaffetz continued. "There was a concerted effort here to make sure the Congress never saw the light of day on these documents. They still owe us more."

Operation Fast and Furious was an ATF and Department of Justice program that purposely allowed the sale and trafficking of thousands of weapons to violent Mexican drug cartels. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed by Mexican bandits in December 2010 and guns from the operation were found at the murder scene. When Sinaloa cartel leader El Chapo Guzman was captured last year, guns from the operation, including a .50 caliber rifle that was used to shoot at a police helicopter, were found in his hideout. Hundreds of Mexican citizens have been killed as a result of the program and thousands of guns are still missing and being used to carry out violent crimes in Mexico and potentially in the United States.