Holder seeks Fast and Furious appeal
November 16th, 2013
08:39 PM ET
8 months ago

Holder seeks Fast and Furious appeal

Washington (CNN) – Attorney General Eric Holder is seeking an appeal to a judge's ruling that allows the House of Representatives to proceed with contempt charges over the notorious Justice Department program Operation Fast and Furious.

Holder is being held in contempt by the House for refusing to turn over documents about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' gun-tracking program that allowed thousands of weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels. The Obama administration invoked executive privilege to keep sealed some records over their response to Fast and Furious. The House Government Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, subsequently voted to hold Holder in contempt last year.


The Justice Department filed the motion late Friday evening, asking the U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to send the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In September, Judge Jackson, an Obama appointee, allowed the case against Holder to proceed despite the administration's request to dismiss the suit.

The motion argues that because Jackson's ruling has "potentially great significance" in its ability to alter to the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches, the "Defendant respectfully requests that this Court certify its decision for interlocutory appeal and stay further proceedings pending the disposition of that appeal."

In plainer language, they are arguing a higher court needs to weigh in on the case before it can proceed because the issue involved could affect the separation of powers in a "momentous," and in their opinion, harmful way.

"The very experience of participating in such proceedings will cause harm–to the Defendant, the Executive Branch, and the separation of powers–that cannot be reversed if the D.C. Circuit ultimately rules in Defendant's favor on the threshold questions presented," the motion says. "In light of the harm to the separation of powers that such an adjudication would entail, including the impact of such proceedings on the negotiation process between the political Branches–a process that has generally proceeded without judicial involvement since the inception of congressional oversight–Defendant's jurisdictional objections should be resolved by the Circuit before this Court takes such a momentous step."

Judge Jackson has yet to rule on whether it was legal for the administration to use executive privilege in the first place.


Filed under: Eric Holder • Fast and Furious
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. mike

    Holder is a criminal

    November 16, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    This is just sidetracking by GOP idiots. That's it. Derrel Issa is pathetic to divert the main burning issue than this nonsense. Nation is experiencing, encountering to GOP thugs sabotage.

    November 16, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Rob

    In plain English. If the court allows this Holder and maybe even Obama found responsible for committing a criminal act that supplied guns to drug cartels that ended in the murder of American citizens

    November 16, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. rs

    Amazing! The GOP is trying to hang the results of Arizona's lax gun sales laws (that permit straw buyers at stores/dealers, and no background at gun shows or private sales) on the Attorney General. It is as if their limited attention span keeps shifting from one looney conspiracy to another.Benghazi blew up on then so its back to F & F (where the government NEVER has possession of the weapons) and probably back to their made-up IRS scandal then probably the ACA again.

    About 4 years ago Michelle Bachmann wanted to hold hearings on anti-American activity in Congress. I think now she was on to something now with the GOP's government shutdowns, voting for fiscal disaster and blowing billions of dollars (just last month). I think that is what Mr. Issa needs to look at.

    November 16, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  5. ED1

    Holder need to resign for the laws he doesn't enforce and a list of others just plain bad for us the tax payers.

    November 16, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  6. Evergreen

    As a tax payer, I hold this "Do Nothing" congress in Contemp.

    November 17, 2013 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what the incompetent GOP teaparty house does. The doors should be locked and the house SHUTDOWN!!!!!

    November 17, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    GOP, give up with your obstruction and incompetence , every voter can see right through you. You offer the American people NOTHING .

    November 17, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  9. merlinsscience

    For those of you who had trouble comprehending the article above, allow me to paraphrase: The Administration, not the congress or the GOP resurrected this controversy. By bringing suit to discuss the separation of powers and ultimately rule in their favor that executive privilege was applied legally, the administration has brought F & F to the forefront. This new legal challenge began right after the government reopened and the anti-congress sentiment was very high. They believed they could capitalize of that sentiment, however, the debacle of the ACA rollout has left them in a sticky situation. Now, because there is a timeline to be dealt with, they made the appeal on a Friday night, hoping the coverage would be minimal at best.

    November 17, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, subsequently voted to hold Holder in contempt last year.

    I pray for the day when career criminal Issa gets caught with his hand in some cookie jar.

    November 17, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. anonymous

    Another kick in the teeth to this lawless administration that gets Americans killed with their actions and incompetence and then uses their power to hide and evade the truth and accountability. The Obama administration are as corrupt and criminal as it gets. These people need to be behind bars, not running this country into the ground.

    November 17, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |