Court Rejects Holder's Fast and Furious Appeal

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Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 11:00 AM

By Lisa Barron

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A federal judge Monday denied Attorney General Eric Holder's request  for a fast-track appeal a decision allowing the House to continue with its subpoena for documents in the botched Fast and Furious gun-running scheme.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that her Sept. 30 decision, rejecting Holder's bid to dismiss Congress' lawsuit, did not deserve swift review, reports Politico.

"While the Court agrees with defendant's characterization of the matter as significant, that is not the test," she wrote in her decision.

"The Court is not of the opinion that its denial of the motion to dismiss involves a controlling question of law as to which there is a substantial ground for difference of opinion," Berman said in the four-page ruling.

The decision means the Justice Department will have to turn over a log of what documents were withheld from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

But the judge did not rule on whether any documents were improperly kept from the committee under an executive-privilege claim by President Barack Obama, and has not ordered that the documents themselves should be turned over.

Holder will have an opportunity to ask the courts to withhold the documents, the judge said, adding, "The Court expresses no opinion at this time as to how that motion would be resolved."

A lengthy litigation process now is likely to unfold in district court.

"There's still no order saying they must produce a single document," former House Counsel Stan Brand told Politico.

"We're six months or more from that final decision and it will be appealed then," he said.

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