AG Sessions Orders Release of 'Fast and Furious' Documents Withheld by Obama DOJ

By Susan Jones | March 8, 2018 | 10:32am EST
Attorney General Eric Holder delivers remarks on Sept. 25, 2014 following President Barack Obama's announcement that Holder was leaving the administration. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

( - In a move toward "transparency," Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Wednesday that the Justice Department will finally give the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee documents related to the Obama-era "Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal.

The announcement follows six years of litigation stemming from the Obama administration's refusal to hand over all of the documents subpoenaed by the committee.

“The Department of Justice under my watch is committed to transparency and the rule of law," Sessions said in a news release. "This settlement agreement is an important step to make sure that the public finally receives all the facts related to Operation Fast and Furious.”

In June 2012, then-Attorney General Eric Holder became the first Cabinet member to be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to release documents relating to the scheme where guns purchased in the United States were allowed to flow into Mexico for purposes of tracking them to Mexican cartels.

The tracking did not work, as was tragically demonstrated in 2010 when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with a gun sent to Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) chaired the House Oversight Committee during the gun-walking investigation. Issa told Fox News on Thursday 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 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."

After the House voted 255-67 to hold the attorney general in contempt six years ago, Holder dismissed the move as "political theater."

Issa on Thursday said Holder lied to him personally about how many documents were fully compliant with the committee's request.

"A new search is going to allow us to get some of what we requested to begin with," Issa told Fox News. "The man systematically lied, covered it up, and obstructed justice, and he did so with a lot of career professionals, some of whom are still obstructing the attorney general today.

"You know, this is one of the problems that Jeff Sessions faces at Justice, is there are people there that do not want the same things the American people want."

The family of Brian Terry has been demanding accountability since 2010, and Issa said the production of additional documents should help them get the justice they deserve.

Under the agreement announced by Sessions, the long-withheld documents will be turned over to the Oversight Committee, and Issa expects as many of them as possible to be made public.

Also See:
Gun-Running Timeline: How DOJ’s ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ Unfolded

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