4/24/13, "Obama resists Republican bid to see gun smuggling operation documents," Reuters
"A U.S. Justice
Department lawyer said on Wednesday that if a judge agreed to consider a
Republican bid to get administration documents related to a botched
operation against gun-trafficking it would prompt a flood of requests
for courts to referee Washington political disputes.
President Barack Obama is
resisting a congressional subpoena for documents related to how the
administration responded to the revelation of the failed operation known
as "Fast and Furious" on the U.S.- Mexican border. It has already
turned over thousands of pages of documents about the operation itself.
Department lawyer Ian Gershengorn told a hearing the matter was best
left to the give-and-take of the U.S. government's two elected branches,
the president and Congress, and should not be a matter for the courts....
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was
skeptical and told Gershengorn, "There are three branches here, not just
two." She did not say how she would rule, but questioned Gershengorn
for more than twice as long as she did House of Representatives lawyer
Kircher told Jackson
that if she did not intervene, presidents could withhold documents from
Congress at will with no consequence and thwart oversight of government
sides agree that the question of whether Jackson will step in goes to
the heart of how the U.S. president and Congress interact with each
Lawyers cited court
precedents from the Watergate era and from a more recent document fight
in which Democratic lawmakers sent a subpoena to aides of President
George W. Bush.
In a decision that
now helps Republicans, U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled in 2008 that
he did have the authority to enforce a subpoena by congressional
Democrats in connection with the firing of nine U.S. attorneys.
In the "Fast and Furious" operation federal
agents trying to build a case against big gun traffickers supplying
firearms to Mexican drug cartels did not immediately prosecute low-level
traffickers even as they bought 2,000 potentially illegal guns.
operation came to light after two of the firearms were found in Arizona
at the scene of a shooting where a U.S. Border Patrol agent died [was murdered]."...via Lucianne