Dozens of FOIA Requests on Eric Holder Filed Before 'Fast and Furious' Became Public

Everyone from Gun Owners of America to Gawker has wanted info on the Attorney General since 2009.

By SHARE
FE_DA_130311holder.jpg
Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill on March 6, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing "Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice."

Ever since Eric Holder was installed as U.S. Attorney General in March 2009, advocacy groups, members of the press, lawyers and various members of the public have worked relentlessly to get their hands on copies of Holder's records, including his calendar, E-mails, and travel details and other records.

According to government documents obtained by GovernmentAttic.org, which were published Monday, the Department of Justice received dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests about Holder over the last four years. Some of the requests came months before details leaked about the "Operation Fast and Furious" gunwalking operation, which led Holder to be the first U.S. Cabinet member held in contempt of Congress for not disclosing internal DOJ documents related to the operation.

[DEBATE: Was the House Right to Hold Holder in Contempt?]

During Holder's first year in office, multiple news sites requested information about Holder's calendar, as did outside individuals, such as a personal injury defense lawyer in San Antonio. A firearms group, Gun Owners of America, wanted to know what Holder had previously said about the assault weapons ban, as did several individual gun owners who similarly filed Freedom of Information Act Requests.

In 2010, records were requested on Holder asking about his connection to several different topics—including with the National Football League Players Association and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The same year, Gawker asked for all E-mails Holder had sent to a specific person (whose name is redacted), while Salon wanted to know Holder's prior thoughts on Miranda rights.

By 2011, when the gunwalking operations had been publicly exposed, advocacy groups and research organizations started sending numerous requests to the DOJ for more information. Operation Fast and Furious was the largest gunwalking probe in U.S. history, and Holder repeatedly denied knowledge and authorization of the operation.

Though the GovernmentAttic.org documents reveal hundreds of requests filed to the DOJ over the last four years, more than a dozen requests were released with parts redacted—particularly if an individual had requested information about him or herself.

DOJ says that they fielded more than 76,000 FOIA requests in FY 2012.

More Whispers:

  • Former DEA Chiefs May Profit From Illegal Pot, Critics Say
  • Is the White House Stalling on State Pot Laws?
  • Presidential Yacht Takes Ted Koppel Aboard, Forgets Anchors