Government watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Thursday that President Barack Obama is trying to keep secret several emails related to the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal that Attorney General Eric Holder sent to his wife, Sharon Malone.
Judicial Watch has been seeking numerous documents related to the scandal, which blew up when a gun the government failed to track showed up at the murder scene of a U.S. border agent.
According to Judicial Watch, Attorney General Eric Holder sent emails to his wife that relate to the Fast and Furious gun walking operation, and the Obama administration is trying to keep those emails from being released. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
But in a release Thursday, the group said Obama is protecting thousands of documents about the scandal, including several emails that went to Holder's wife.
"President Obama has asserted executive privilege over nearly 20 email communications between Holder and his spouse Sharon Malone," the wrote wrote. "The administration also claims that the records are also subject to withholding under the 'deliberative process' exemption."
Judicial Watch said that latter exemption shouldn't apply, since it's normally used to prevent the disclosure of records that might make it harder for officials to hold internal deliberations. Holder's wife is not a government official.
The administration also said it was withholding thousands of other documents, and presented the list of withheld papers in a 1,307-page index.
"There is no precedent for President Obama's Nixonian assertion of executive privilege over these ordinary government agency records," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Americans will be astonished that Obama asserted executive privilege over Eric Holder's emails to his wife about Fast and Furious."
The group said the index reveals that Holder played a role in writing talking points related to the scandal, and was communicating with the White House during the operation.
Holder has said he will retire as soon as a new Attorney General is confirmed, which now appears likely to happen sometime in 2015.