House Republicans will file a civil lawsuit this month against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding the release of documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation.
“We’ll be filing a civil case during the break,” Darrell Issa (R-CA) told NBC News Friday. “We will expect a day in court before a federal judge, which we have a 100 percent chance that the judge will hold that these documents should be delivered.”
The sting operation, launched during the George W. Bush administration to track gun weapons sales to Mexican drug cartels, became a sticking point for Republicans after two weapons that went missing in the process were found at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jason Terry. A $1 million reward has been issued for information on the four suspects sought in Terry’s killing.
The proposed civil suit is the latest Republican threat against Holder, following an unprecedented criminal contempt vote against him in June, and a suggestion that the House Sergeant At Arms could be directed to arrest Holder. The Justice Department has said it will not prosecute Holder, which Issa said limited his party’s options, as he likened the situation to the efforts to uncover Richard Nixon’s White House tapes during the Watergate investigation.
“Nixon didn’t respond to Congress,” Issa said. “He responded to federal judges, ultimately the Supreme Court, ordering that he had no such privilege to cover up the tapes. And these are no different than the Nixon tapes, we’re asking for documents related to a cover up of lying to Congress.”
Issa’s statement follows a similar promise by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made on CBS’ Face The Nation Sunday.
“The only facts that we’ve received about this entire Fast and Furious operation came from whistleblowers and others associated with it,” Boehner said. “We got no information that helped in our investigation from the Justice Department at any point.”
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