WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has rejected the Justice Department’s claim of executive privilege used to withhold documents tied to the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” scandal from release to a congressional committee.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Republicans subpoenaed thousands of emails related to the operation and sued in federal court to obtain them.

In her decision on Tuesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected the department’s blanket assertion of executive privilege, saying much of the withheld information had already been disclosed through other channels.

The ruling is the latest development in a years-long legal fight over the botched effort by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to track guns across the Southwest border.