The Obama administration lost a crucial legal battle on July 18 when a federal court ordered the White House to release previously withheld information on Operation Fast and Furious to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
According to a press released issued Thursday, the court case stems from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (that originally began as a FOIA request) filed by Judicial Watch in 2012 to obtain all documents that the president has withheld from Congress under claims of executive privilege.
The decision, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, would require the Department of Justice to turn over a “Vaughn Index” to Judicial Watch for the documents the group requested.
A Vaughn Index, according to the Office of Government Information Services, must: “1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.”
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision comes after a 16-month delay on the lawsuit due to a request by the Department of Justice for an almost indefinite hold on the case. The DOJ claimed that Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit interferes with its legal case with the House Oversight committee over the same documents relating to the botched Fast and Furious operation. …