House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, filed a civil action on Monday in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia to force U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to release documents related to the now defunct Operation Fast and Furious Mr. Issa’s committee ask for by subpoenaed on October 11, 2011.
According to a press statement on the Oversight Committee website:
Among other things, the House’s legal action seeks to obtain documents covered by the subpoena that will show why the Justice Department took ten months to retract a February 4, 2011 letter which contained false denials of the reckless investigative tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious. After months of stonewalling by the Attorney General and his staff, and minutes before the Oversight Committee convened a business meeting to consider a resolution holding the Attorney General in contempt, President Obama invoked an eleventh hour assertion of executive privilege over the documents. The House’s filing asks the federal court to rule that President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege was invalid and compel Attorney General Eric Holder to produce subpoenaed documents.
“President Obama exceeded his authority by asserting executive privilege over subpoenaed documents related to the Justice Department’s cover-up of Operation Fast and Furious,” said Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.
Issa continues saying, “Waiting nearly eight months after the subpoena had been issued to assert a meritless claim of privilege, the President’s decision was a calculated political maneuver designed to stop the release of documents until after November’s elections. After promising an unprecedented level of transparency, the President is attempting to expand the reach of executive privilege to obstruct the truth about the reckless conduct that contributed to the death of a Border Patrol Agent and countless Mexican citizens. The family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, whistleblowers who faced retaliation for exposing the Justice Department’s reckless tactics, and the public have a right to know the full extent of what occurred.”