Members of the U.S. House of Representatives filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against Attorney General Eric Holder, the country’s top law enforcement official, seeking to obtain documents on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) “Fast and Furious” gun-running scheme.
The suit likely means the debate over the scandal will go on for months, lasting through the U.S. elections on November 6 when Democrat Barack Obama is likely to face Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The suit asks for documents House representatives say are critical to their investigation of the operation, but Obama has claimed executive privilege. In June, the House voted to hold Holder in contempt for withholding the documents.
House Speaker John Boehner said the lawsuit was necessary because the Obama administration was “stonewalling.”
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the department, which Holder runs, was “always willing to work with the committee.”
“Instead the House and the committee have said they prefer to litigate,” she claimed.