Judge orders mediation in Fast and Furious lawsuit

By Frederic J. Frommer

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered mediation in a lawsuit over congressional efforts to get records related to Operation Fast and Furious, a bungled federal gun-tracking operation in Arizona.

Judge Amy Jackson Berman issued the order Monday, after the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Justice Department said they hadn't been able to reach a settlement. Senior Judge Barbara Rothstein will conduct the mediation.

In a joint status report last Friday night, the committee argued against mediation, while the Justice Department endorsed it.

Attorney General Eric Holder has been found in contempt of the House for refusing to turn over records related to the program.

Fast and Furious was a flawed gun-tracking investigation focused on Phoenix-area gun shops by the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Published: Wed, Mar 20, 2013