Last night I was on the NRA’s Cam & Company with Cam Edwards, and talked about the way Attorney General Eric Holder and his associates have thus far been able to spin and twist their way out of the prosecution they deserve for Fast and Furious. As we talked and I thought of how Holder has vacillated on what he knew and when he knew it, I couldn’t help but think of how helpful it would be to provide somewhat of a timeline of when information on Fast and Furious was made available to Holder long before he admits. As you read it, keep in mind this is only a partial record.
On April 2, 2009 Holder gave a speech in Cuernavaca, Mexico in which he boasted about Operation “Gunrunner” and told Mexican authorities of everything he was doing to insure its success. In that speech he told the the audience:
Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion.
Following that speech, Project Gunrunner began and was followed by Fast and Furious. During the earliest parts of Fast and Furious, there were three people in the White House who received email updates on Fast and Furious: Kevin O’Reilly, Dan Restrepo, and Greg Gatjanis. And for the purposes of this article, the important thing about those updates is that they came from the ATF’s William Newell, a supervisor who ultimately answers to Holder.
Then came March 2010, which is when the ATF briefed Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler on Fast and Furious. (The briefing was literally one in which the ATF briefed the DOJ on Fast and Furious using a slideshow that can be viewed here.) If you’re thinking it’s hard to believe all these things could have happened without Holder knowing about Fast and Furious then join the club. I would go further and say it seems almost impossible that he didn’t.
But any ambiguity that he might have hidden behind theretofore was completely removed by July 2010 which, according to CBS News, is when Holder himself was sent briefings on the operation. Moreover, three months later–October 18, 2010–Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer sent communiqués to Holder warning that indictments for Fast and Furious could come soon. And those of you who’ve been keeping track of this mess will remember that just four days later–on October 22, 2010–a Deputy Attorney General sent Holder a memo in which he basically said there was not need to expect much trouble to arise if knowledge of gun walking became public, because it was already an accepted fact that U.S. guns were being used by Mexican gangs in Mexico. The Deputy Attorney General’s exact words to Holder: “It’s not going to be a big surprise that a bunch of U.S. guns are being used in [Mexico], so I’m not sure how much grief we get for guns walking.”
Think about it folks: a memo on gun walking was sent to Holder in October yet to this day he vehemently denies he knew that gun walking was taking place.
Here’s the bottom line. By the end of October 2010, Holder had given a speech on Project Gunrunner, men under him had sent Fast and Furious updates to White House officials, his Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler had been briefed on Fast and Furious, Holder was sent briefings directly on Fast and Furious in July 2010, Assistant A.G. Breuer had sent him a memo about gun walking and four days later another memo was sent telling him not to panic because no one would get worked up about guns crossing the border. (But people did get worked up because on the night of December 14 /15, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry lost his life to criminals using Fast and Furious weapons.)
Now fast forward to May 3rd, 2011, when Holder appeared before the House Oversight Committee and told Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) he had only known about Fast and Furious for a “few weeks.” If you believe that, I feel confident you still believe Bill Clinton “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”