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US Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, appointed by Obama lets Fast and Furious Documents in, DOJ Holder looking . . .


A federal judge has rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s attempt to keep the courts from wading into the “Fast and Furious” documents dispute that led to him being held in contempt by the House last year.

In a ruling Monday night, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson  turned down the Justice Department’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege to prevent some records about the administration’s response to the “Operation Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal from being turned over to Congress.


“This case presents the sort of question that the courts are traditionally called upon to resolve,” Jackson said in her 44-page decision, issued more than five months after lawyers argued the issue in her packed courtroom and more than a year after the House committee filed suit. “Dismissing the case without hearing it would in effect place the court’s finger on the scale, designating the executive as the victor based solely on his untested assertion that the privilege applies,” she wrote.



The legal fight arose after the Justice Department refused to comply with House subpoenas seeking information about the response to “Operation Fast and Furious,” a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives undercover operation targeting gun trafficking along and across the Mexican border.



Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry
A Mexican national who pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent — whose 2010 death led to a congressional probe of the botched “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation — was part of a group of five Mexicans armed with semiautomatic assault rifles who were “patrolling” north of the U.S.-Mexico border with the intent to “intentionally and forcibly assault” U.S. border agents.

The intent of the five Mexicans is outlined in a previously sealed federal indictment describing the killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, who was gunned down Dec. 14, 2010, in the rugged desert area of Peck Canyon north of Nogales, Ariz.


The indictment said the Mexicans were hunting for border agents near a desert watering hole known as Mesquite Seep just north of the Arizona-Mexico border when a firefight erupted shortly before midnight and Terry was killed. At least two of the Mexicans carried their assault rifles “at the ready position,” one of several details about the attack showing that Mexican smugglers are becoming more aggressive on the U.S. side of the border.Read more: 





DOJ’s Inspector General and Congressional investigators found that the operation may have resulted in as many as 2000 weapons flowing to narcotraffickers with little or no effort to track them. The weapons have shown up at crime scenes on both sides or the border as well as at the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in 2010.

DOJ officials say they turned over virtually all records about the operation and about the department’s response through a February 4, 2011 letter to Congress that contained inaccurate information and was later withdrawn. However, officials refused to turn over internal communications after that time dealing with responses to congressional and press inquiries.Read more

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