The wheels of justice have a tendency to turn slow, but they do turn regardless. Nowhere is this more evident than the recent move by American president Barack Obama to release classified documents that contain contentious information about a federal gun running probe. He subsequently gave over thousands of documents to legislators. Among other things, these documents are believed to shed light on the process that resulted in the House votes that found Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt back in 2012.
A federal district court judge had earlier refused Obama’s presidential right to the documents back in January. The contested information was in conjunction with the Justice Department and the Oval Office’s reaction to Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Arms and Explosives probe that possibly permitted up to 2,000 weapons to fall into the ownership of Mexican drug cartels.
In coming to a decision, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S district court, did not reject Obama’s concession over the merits of the case. Rather she noted that legitimized the publication of the operation in a Justice Department inspector general report which would in essence make it impossible for the information to remain secret.
Given an option to appeal the decision no later than midnight on Friday, the presidential team opted to give the documents over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“In light of the passage of time and other considerations, such as the Department’s interest in moving past this litigation and building upon our cooperative working relationship with the Committee and other Congressional committees, the Department has decided that it is not in the Executive Branch’s interest to continue litigating this issue at this time,” stated the legislative liaison of the Justice Department, Peter Kadzik.
Following the submission, Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the oversight panel at the time of the debacle, requested that Obama clarify on the situation.
“After 4 years of objection and delay, President Obama has finally been forced to give up additional documents related to why senior Justice Department officials in his administration lied to Congress,” Issa publicly stated. “What we need from the President is an explanation of why he felt these documents couldn’t been seen by the American people and why there has been no real accountability for the officials involved. Was he protecting the failed gun-walking operation or the cover-up?”