The Justice Department met a deadline set by a federal court to provide Congress with documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the failed gun-walking sting during which the government allowed approximately 2,000 guns to flow to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.
The Justice Department had previously withheld thousands of pages of documents from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the scandal. Consequently the House held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in 2012. In 2016, President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to shield the documents.
On January 16, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, for the District of Columbia, ruled the Obama administration cannot use executive privilege to prevent Congress from accessing information on Operation Fast and Furious.
“The committee has a duty to understand and shine light on what was happening inside Department of Justice during the time of this irresponsible operation. Yet DOJ has obstructed our investigative work for years,” said Jason Chaffetz, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman.
The failed operation first came to light in late 2010 when one of the guns from the program was found at the murder scene of a US Border Patrol agent. More recently, the Justice Department confirmed that, according to Mexican officials, one of the guns found at the hideout of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera was associated with Operation Fast and Furious.
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