President Barack Obama’s Justice Department must produce the records requested in the Congressional investigation concerning Operation Fast and Furious a federal judge in Washington D.C. ruled on Tuesday, and at least one Vista Congressman anticipates finally learning more about the trafficking operation which allowed hundreds of weapons, including a .50 caliber sniper rifle discovered at the hideout of Mexican drug cartel leader El Chapo, to disappear.
“There is no need to balance the need against the impact that the revelation of any record could have on candor in future executive decision making, since any harm that might flow from the public revelation of the deliberations at issue here has already been self-inflicted,” Jackson wrote in the 32-page decision according to a report from writer Paul Ingram of the TucsonSentinel.
The Judge decided that under the “unique and limited circumstances” of the case, the Justice Department must produce the records. “The Department itself has already publicly revealed the sum and substance of the very material it is now seeking to withhold,” Judge Jackson continued. “Since any harm that would flow from the disclosures sought here would be merely incremental, the records must be produced.”
Rep. Darrell Issa
It may be that Vista Representative Darrell Issa finally learns the details and facts regarding the “gun walking” operation which eventually became a standoff between Congress and the DOJ’s former head honcho, Eric Holder. (Congress did put the then-Attorney General Holder in contempt for failing to turn over records, but that was in 2012.)
Judge Jackson wants the DOJ to comply with her order by February 2. Issa, according to an interview by AWR Hawkins over at BreitbartNews stated that “[T]he next administration could well choose to deal with people’s crimes, particularly the conspiracy to cover this up, to falsely mislead the American people. There were a number of areas in which criminal activity could [be] alleged, and as it stands right now the biggest question is that Eric Holder swore he didn’t know about this a number of times. And some of that has been proved wrong.”
Issa added another thought, though. “If we’re able to see that his hand-picked US Attorney Dennis Burke was involved in communicating to people in the justice department that would indicate a number of people testified falsely.”
Gun running for policy change?
Documents found by journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who once worked for CBSNews, indicate the discussions among some elements of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for using their covert operation, called “Fast and Furious,” to argue for controversial “new rules about gun sales,” even if gun dealers who cooperated with ATF thought it would make them look bad in “selling to the bad guys.”
Two months later after voicing doubts about the plan, according to Attkisson, the same gun dealer grew more doubtful with ATF. Attkisson quotes him in her story: “I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys. I guess I am looking for a bit of reassurance that the guns are not getting south or in the wrong hands…I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents (sic) safety because I have some very close friends that are US Border Patrol agents in southern AZ as well as my concern for all the agents (sic) safety that protect our country.”
The current House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz issued a statement after Judge Jackson’s decision. “[The] decision will help us advance the Fast & Furious investigation into this administration’s gun running operation. After allowing guns to walk, the administration’s attempt to hide behind executive privilege only adds insult to injury. While the decision doesn’t give us access to all the documents, it is an important step forward. We will continue investigating until we get to the truth.”