The Justice Department says federal courts should stay out of a political dispute between the Obama administration and Congress over documents in a botched law enforcement probe of gun trafficking.
In court papers filed Monday night, the department is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by a Republican-led House committee, which is demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder produce records about Operation Fast and Furious.
The Justice Department says the Constitution does not permit the courts to resolve the political dispute between the executive branch and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The political branches have a long history of resolving disputes over congressional requests without judicial intervention, the court filing said.
President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege and the attorney general has been found in contempt of the House for refusing to turn over records that might explain what led the department to reverse course after initially denying that federal agents had used a controversial tactic called gun-walking in the failed law enforcement operation.
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