the obstruction by the U.S. Department of Justice (“Department” or “DOJ”) of anOversight Committee investigation – an investigation the Department hasacknowledged is appropriate and legitimate – of a now-discredited DOJ law-enforcement operation known as “Operation Fast and Furious”;
the Attorney General’s contumacious refusal to comply with the Holder Subpoena, in particular, his refusal to produce documents that would enable theCommittee (and the American people) to understand how and why theDepartment provided false information to Congress and otherwise obstructed theCommittee’s concededly-legitimate investigation into Operation Fast and Furious;
the President’s assertion – not directly, but through the Deputy Attorney General – of “Executive privilege” as to some unproduced documents that are of particular interest to the Committee;
the Committee’s need for those documents – documents it cannot obtainelsewhere – in order to discharge its Article I responsibility to conduct oversightover the Department so that the Committee, and the Congress more generally,may determine whether the Department’s malfeasance warrants additions to, or changes in, existing federal laws.
Letter from James M. Cole, Dep’y Att’y Gen., to Hon. Darrell E. Issa, Chairman,Oversight Comm., at 1 (June 20, 2012) (“June 20, 2012 Privilege Letter”) (“[T]he President hasasserted [E]xecutive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents.”). For theconvenience of the Court, documents referenced in this Complaint – other than those with their own individual hyperlinks – are available for review athttp://oversight.house.gov/documents-in-support-of-civil-action-by-oversight-committee-vs-eric-holder/.
Case 1:12-cv-01332 Document 1 Filed 08/13/12 Page 2 of 41