Eric Holder’s Justice Department has had a setback this afternoon in its effort to keep some Fast and Furious documents sealed by executive order.
Josh Gerstein of Politico reports:
A federal judge has refused Attorney General Eric Holder’s request that he be allowed to proceed now with an appeal in a case where the House of Representatives is seeking to enforce subpoenas for documents related to the controversial Operation Fast and Furious gun investigation.
[U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman] Jackson’s latest ruling means it is likely the Justice Department will have to produce a detailed log of what was withheld from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and why. Rounds of protracted litigation over the legitimacy of the withholdings seem all but certain, unless the sides come to an agreement which has heretofore eluded them.
Eric Holder and the Department of Justice on Friday had moved that Jackson send the case on to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, hoping to convince the higher court of the case’s potentially “momentous” effect on separation of powers. The Obama administration invoked executive privilege to sealed some records that were demanded by the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. That committee voted to hold Holder in contempt.
While the judge did turn down Holder’s request for an immediate appeal, she did not rule on whether any documents have been improperly withheld from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.