Today, Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder detailing how wiretap applications reveal how close senior officials at the Department of Justice were to Operation Fast & Furious.
According to Chairman Issa, the applications were approved from March to July of 2010. Each one contained a memo from Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer authorizing it on behalf of Mr. Holder. These memos were also marked for Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor for Operation Fast & Furious.
The DOJ leadership has repeated many times that this was a local issue and senior officials in Washington, DC were not involved. Chairman Issa notes that Mr. Holder said during his February 2, 2012 testimony that wiretap applications contained no information on Fast & Furious.
Since senior officials signed off on these applications, the DOJ can no longer claim tha,t if they knew about Fast & Furious, they would have shut it down. These wiretap applications contained information on the tactics that were being used. The documents also showed that top ATF officials, not DOJ officials, were concerned about the number of weapons involved. Chairman Issa said it was ATF Deputy Director William Hoover who became concerned about the volume and demanded an exit strategy to end Fast & Furious as soon as possible. But when DOJ officials were confronted with the exact same information, they just let it go.
Chairman Issa said the committee now knows why the DOJ was reluctant handing over these documents. It destroys the DOJ’s excuse that F&F was just a local issue.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry lost his life on December 14, 2010. Guns found at the scene were connected to Fast & Furious. Hundreds of Mexicans have been murdered. Guns from Fast & Furious have been found at 12 crime scenes in America.
Representative Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)’s state of Arizona has been greatly affected by Fast & Furious. On Thursday, he will host a Special Order on Fast & Furious at the end of the day immediately following votes. He released the following statement about these developments:
Every detail of Fast and Furious has been alarming. Today’s developments of misinformation and lies, showing that top DOJ political appointees were in fact intimately aware of Operation Fast and Furious from the beginning, demonstrate what we already know–Eric Holder must go now. The American people and Congress deserve truthful answers in a timely manner. AG Holder and his senior staff have shown contempt for the Constitution by preventing us from getting those answers. I reiterate my call for Eric Holder’s resignation, and I am calling upon leadership to take up my Resolution of ‘No Confidence’ in Attorney General Holder, which has 114 cosponsors, for a vote as soon as possible.