Posted: Jun 20, 2012 5:11 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2012 8:30 AM
TUCSON - Attorney General Eric Holder was cited in contempt Wednesday for not complying with House requests for information in the Department of Justice's Operation Fast and Furious.
Early Wednesday, President Obama asserted executive privilege to withhold the documents being sought by a House committee.
The documents being sought are related to Operation Fast and Furious, a program in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed weapons to be purchased in the US and then traced to Mexico. One of those weapons was then used by drug smugglers to kill Brian Terry, a Border Patrol agent stationed in the Tucson Sector.
Tucson attorney Michael Piccarreta said the president was within his right of executive office, "the purpose of the privilege is to have people be able to freely discuss thoughts without having to worry about how it will look in the news the next day." According to Piccarreta, now that Mr. Obama has deemed the documents privileged, legally, they do not have to be produced.
But for Brandon Judd who represents agents in Local 2544, the National Border Patrol Council questions have to be answered and someone has to be held accountable, "we had a very good agent that was murdered. He was murdered in part because the ATF were cavalier in what they were doing."
Agent Terry was killed north of Nogales in a shootout with smugglers on December 2010. "One of those guns was found at the site of Agent Terry's death. They (Department of Justice) absolutely have blood on their hands," Judd said.
The family of Agent Terry issued a statement saying in part, "Our son lost his life protecting this nation, and it is very disappointing that we are now faced with an administration that seems more concerned with protecting themselves rather than revealing the truth behind Operation Fast and Furious."
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