Lawyers in talks to settle “Fast and Furious” lawsuit

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David Ingram @ Reuters:

Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and for congressional Republicans told a federal judge on Tuesday they were in talks to settle a suit stemming from Operation Fast and Furious, a botched probe into gun trafficking to Mexican drug cartels.

While far from certain, a settlement would bring a quiet end to a political furor that stirred the passions of gun owners, ended some Justice Department careers and led Republicans to find U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.

The lawyers said they were uncertain whether the talks would be successful, but that they met on Monday and will meet again.

Republicans in the House of Representatives sued Holder, head of the Justice Department, in August to enforce a subpoena to obtain documents pertaining to the probe.

The contempt vote came in June when Republicans accused the Obama administration of withholding documents related to how it responded to the Fast and Furious operation, named after a movie about auto racing.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson encouraged settlement talks during a 30-minute hearing on the case in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Federal judges have rarely addressed the complicated questions raised in the case about relations between the White House and Congress, Jackson said. One side or the other might not want to live with a potential “all or nothing” decision that a settlement would avoid.

“There may be some benefit in trying to work it out, either among yourselves or with the help of a mediator,” she said.

A lawyer for House Republicans, Kerry Kircher, said he expected the sides to meet again in the near future, but added: “I cannot express any expectation about the outcome of that.”

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

One Response to “Lawyers in talks to settle “Fast and Furious” lawsuit”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    Obama might want to cut this deal.
    Holder, too.
    But will House Republicans allow it?
    That part about the letter that was retracted is the real sticking point.
    And what about when the ”executive privilege” was used to shield Holder?
    Oddly, the ID report said Holder didn’t even KNOW about F&F, so, who was the executive privilege really protecting?
    Is there a ”fall guy” Holder has lined up?
    What mystifies me is why House Republicans allowed this to become a legal case at all.
    It just slowed down everything.
    But then, they do lack spine.

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