Judicial Watch sues for records on Eric Holder's contempt citation

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Watchdog,Michal Conger,Fast and Furious,Eric Holder,Darrell Issa,Border Security,Justice Department,FOIA

Judicial Watch has sued the Department of Justice over the government's refusal to release documents related to Attorney General Eric Holder's 2012 contempt citation by the House of Representatives.

The non-profit watchdog group filed its lawsuit Sept. 5, seeking communications about settlement discussions between DOJ's Civil Division and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The filing was announced Tuesday.

"Eric Holder is using his legal battle with Congress to keep the American people from knowing the full truth about the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious killings and lies,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

The committee, whose chairman is Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sued Holder in 2012 for contempt of Congress after he refused to hand over documents sought by the committee concerning his department's Fast and Furious gun-running operation into Mexico.

Thousands of weapons were allowed to be sold by dealers in the U.S. to known associates of Mexican drug cartels in the hope that the firearms would then show up at crime scenes, enabling officials to link the criminals to prosecutable acts.

At least one U.S. Border Patrol official was killed by drug runners using weapons obtained through the Fast and Furious program.

The DOJ has dragged out court-ordered mediation talks with the committee, refusing to cooperate on a settlement over the documents.

"The Obama gang would rather stall for time than defend the Obama’s administration secretive claims of executive privilege on Fast and Furious in court,” Fitton said.

Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act request for the documents between the committee and Justice was denied in May, and the group's appeal was denied in June.

The DOJ failed to specify which of nine allowable FOIA exemptions it was using to justify the denial in either case, instead claiming the records were "subject to court-imposed, non-disclosure requirements."

Judicial Watch asked the court to order DOJ to follow FOIA law and release "non-exempt" records.

Go here for more information from Judicial Watch.

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