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Sharyl Attkisson: Multiple Controversies Plagued Eric Holder Prior to Resignation

Attorney General Eric Holder To Resign

Sharyl Attkisson writes: The unexpected resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder follows a series of court rulings against his Department of Justice over its failure to produce documents related to the government’s “Fast and Furious” firearms operation.

Holder also has come under increasing congressional criticism for a tepid investigation of evidence that IRS officials deliberately targeted tea party and other conservative groups for greater scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

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Calling the government’s arguments for “even more time … unconvincing,” a federal judge this week refused to grant Holder’s Justice Department the additional time it requested to turn over a list of Operation Fast and Furious documents withheld under executive privilege exerted by President Obama.

The list is referred to as a “Vaughn index” and requires the Justice Department to justify document-by-document the reasons it hasn’t released the materials. This exercise alone often prompts the release of documents.

The Justice Department sought to delay the Vaughn index until one day before the Nov. 4 midterm elections. But the court ordered the index produced by Oct. 22 instead. The order comes in a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Court: NSA collected domestic emails, violating the Constitution

By Brendan Sasso and Carlo Muñoz

The Obama administration on Wednesday revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) improperly collected emails from people in the United States with no connection to terrorism beginning in 2008.

The NSA collected as many as many as 56,000 emails from Americans before the mistake was identified.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court concluded that the surveillance was unconstitutional after it was notified of it in 2011. In an 86-page opinion that was declassified on Wednesday, the court ordered the NSA to take steps to limit the information it collects and how long it keeps it.

In the opinion, Judge John D. Bates admonished the NSA for a ” substantial misrepresentation” of the scope of its surveillance.

Officials said the surveillance was inadvertent, and insisted that the agency ended it in 2011.

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