Judicial Watch Sues Department of Justice and ATF for Documents Pertaining to ATF's "Fast and Furious" Gun-Running Operation

Oct 12, 2011, 09:23 ET from Judicial Watch

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits on October 11, 2011 against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to obtain records related to an ATF "gun-running" operation known as Fast and Furious (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:11-cv-01796)), (Judicial Watch v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (No. 1:11-cv-01797)).

Pursuant to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on July 13, 2011, Judicial Watch seeks the following the following records from the Department of Justice:

  • All records of communication, contracts and correspondence between ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson and any official, officer, or employee of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) regarding ATF Phoenix Operation Fast and Furious.
  • All records regarding, concerning, or related to, the October 26, 2009 meeting/telephonic conference call between DAG David Ogden, Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Lanny Breuer, ATF Director Melson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michelle Leonhart, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller, and other DOJ officials regarding the Southwest Border Strategy (including, but not limited to, any agendas, minutes, transcripts, notes, or presentations).
  • All records prepared for, or submitted to, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform regarding, concerning, or related to, ATF Operation Fast and Furious.

Judicial Watch filed a similar FOIA request with ATF on the same day. Neither agency has responded by the statutorily mandated deadline, prompting Judicial Watch's lawsuit.

Judicial Watch is investigating the genesis of the Fast and Furious operation, which was reportedly discussed during the October 26, 2009, telephonic conference call, as well as information being provided to and/or withheld from Congress.

"We've asked for basic information and we haven't received one document from the Department of Justice or ATF regarding Fast and Furious. And, given their dissembling, Justice and ATF are apparently in cover-up mode. We think it is important that an independent investigation of this scandal take place and our lawsuits are a good way to do it," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

For further information please visit www.judicialwatch.org.

SOURCE Judicial Watch