A U.S. congressional committee on Monday filed a civil suit against Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that he hand over additional documents concerning Operation Fast and Furious, a federal undercover sting that allegedly allowed some 2,000 weapons to be smuggled into Mexico.
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), filed the suit asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to require Holder to turn over the documents subpoenaed by the congressional panel in October 2011.
Fast and Furious was a federal undercover sting that allegedly allowed some 2,000 weapons to be smuggled into Mexico by straw purchasers thought to be working for drug cartels, a tactic known as "gun-walking."
The operation was launched in 2009 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Phoenix office and shut down in late 2010 after guns traced to the program were linked to the killing in Arizona of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
"Among other things, the House's legal action seeks to obtain documents covered by the subpoena that will show why the Justice Department took 10 months to retract a February 4, 2011 letter which contained false denials of the reckless investigative tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious," the Oversight Committee Web site says.
The White House defended Holder's cooperation in the investigations but refuses to hand over the documents requested by the committee with the argument that executive privilege protects the internal deliberations of federal agencies.
The committee on Monday reiterated its complaint that President Barack Obama resorted to executive privilege at the "eleventh hour" before the committee approved a resolution to hold the attorney general in contempt. EFE