President Barack Obama, after years of fighting to hide Operation Fast and Furious documents, finally relented and officially dropped his claim to executive privilege over them.
“Four years after asserting executive privilege to block Congress from obtaining documents relating to a controversial federal gun trafficking investigation, President Barack Obama relented Friday, turning over to lawmakers thousands of pages of records that led to unusual House votes holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in 2012,” Politico’s Josh Gerstein wrote on Friday.
Fast and Furious remains the only scandal over which this president has used executive privilege power to hide documents from congressional investigators. Obama did not use the highly controversial power in any other scandal, including the following: Benghazi, IRS, Department of Justice phone-tapping, Pigford, General Services Administration (GSA), Solyndra, LightSquared, or EPA administrator email aliases.
In the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, the Obama administration let guns “walk”–or be trafficked without surveillance or any plan to regain control of them–into the hands of Mexican drug cartel criminals. As many as 2,000 high-powered rifles walked into Mexico as part of the scheme, and they were used to kill many Mexican citizens and even U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Now, after House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) investigators have been litigating for years after Obama’s now former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in both criminal and civil contempt of Congress, the president has dropped his executive privilege claim over the documents.