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DOJ Releases ‘Fast And Furious’ Documents Withheld By Holder To Oversight Committee

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After six long years, the Department of Justice just announced that they would hand over documents related to the Obama-era Fast and Furious gun scandal to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Barack Obama and Eric Holder had refused previously to produce the documents that were requested. These are documents that former Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz at the time called “critical” to pursuing the investigation.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives originally conducted the Fast and Furious operation that went south. Somehow, they managed to allow over 2,000 firearms to find their way into the hands of the Mexican cartels. Many contend it was on purpose. Firearms connected to the program were found at multiple crime scenes in both the United States and Mexico, including the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

A report by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General in 2012 found that neither President Barack Obama nor his attorney general at the time, Eric Holder, were aware of Fast and Furious until 2011. No one that I know of believes that assessment. Nonetheless, as Holder refused to provide documents about the operation to Congress, he drew unrivaled scorn from GOP lawmakers, some of whom openly considered the rare step of pursuing impeachment proceedings against him. The House voted in 2012 to hold him in contempt. A federal judge in 2014 declined to uphold the contempt finding, calling the House’s motion “entirely unnecessary,” but also ordering the Justice Department to produce documents to the committee.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) chaired the House Oversight Committee during the gun-walking investigation. Issa told Fox News that the upcoming document release may shed light on what the Obama administration was hiding, even to the point of defying Congress and obstructing justice. “Eric Holder systematically obstructed justice, including carefully making sure that the (document) search was not thorough enough,” Issa said. He believes that some of the documents withheld by Holder — who claimed executive privilege — may explain why the Obama administration “deliberately let 2,000 weapons go into the hands of the worst of the worst cartels.”

Issa said the documents will “show us that Eric Holder was very involved in the obstruction of justice — a man who now still proudly says he’s a lawyer and should be disbarred — in fact had an active role in texting, emailing, helping people figure out how not to deliver to Congress what we said we wanted and were lawfully entitled to.” He said Holder lied to him personally about how many documents were fully compliant with the committee’s request.

“The Department of Justice under my watch is committed to transparency and the rule of law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “This settlement agreement is an important step to make sure that the public finally receives all the facts related to Operation Fast and Furious.” Trey Gowdy’s communications director Amanda Gonzalez says that the Oversight Committee “seeks all relevant facts so we can learn from the mistakes made by the Justice Department.” “We have a responsibility to uncover why they worked so hard to hide this information from the Committee, the family of Brian Terry, and the American people,” she added.

Brian Terry was killed in 2010 by an illegal immigrant with a weapon used in the botched Operation Fast and Furious. Terry died in a gunfight between Border Patrol agents and members of a six-man cartel “rip crew,” which patrolled the desert along the US-Mexico border looking for drug dealers to rob. Last April, a joint US-Mexico task force apprehended Terry’s suspected killer, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, at a ranch in northwestern Mexico. A June 2017 report from the House Oversight Committee accused the Obama administration of viewing Terry’s family as a public relations “nuisance.”

“We need to find out the truth, exactly what happened, how it happened, why it happened,” Kent Terry said on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday. He is Brian Terry’s brother. “We need Mr. Trump, President Trump, to unseal the documents, reverse executive privilege so that we know what happened, and that we can hold the people accountable that are responsible.” Terry, who met Trump on the campaign trail, said the President was “very apologetic for the actions that the previous administration did. He was very sincere about getting answers,” Terry said. “He said it was shameful and that I think Mr. Sessions should step up and re-open the case, re-investigate it and hold those accountable.” Years of cover-ups surrounding the arms trafficking and the subsequent murder of Brian Terry have ensued since his death.

The Justice Department entered into a conditional settlement agreement with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The settlement agreement was filed in federal court in Washington, DC, and ends six years of litigation arising out of the previous administration’s refusal to produce records requested by the committee.

SOURCES: The Daily Caller, US News, Townhall.com, The Hill, TheBlaze, CNS News, The Washington Examiner, Fox News

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