September 21, 2012
The Washington Post, 9/20/12
After an 18-month investigation that produced a 471-page report on the flawed “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation, Republican lawmakers told the Justice Department’s inspector general Thursday that senior Justice officials still need to be held accountable for the botched case.
During a three-hour hearing, Republicans on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee praised the report released Wednesday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz as fair and comprehensive. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called it a “huge step toward restoring public faith in the Justice Department.”
But the lawmakers criticized Justice officials for not imposing harsher penalties on the 14 officials whom Horowitz said should be considered for disciplinary action. During the hearing, they singled out Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, who heads the department’s criminal division.
August 2, 2012
The Mexico Institute’s Christopher Wilson was interviewed by MSN Latino with regards to the Fast and Furious case, and the report recently released by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley.
Watch the video here…
June 26, 2012
Rep. Darrell Issa escalated the legal war over Fast and Furious, directly accusing President Barack Obama of either abusing his power by withholding information or having his aides conspire with Justice Department officials to manage the aftermath of the failed ATF gun-walking program.
In a letter to Obama to be released Tuesday morning, the California Republican and chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee charged: “Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it…or, you are asserting a presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation.
June 20, 2012
The New York Times, 6/20/2012
President Obama on Wednesday invoked executive privilege to withhold from a Congressional oversight committee some documents and communications among his advisers regarding the failed gun enforcement operation known as “Fast and Furious,” in which weapons purchased in the United States were allowed to cross into Mexico.
It was the first time since Mr. Obama took office that he has asserted the privilege, and it sharpened considerably the long-festering dispute between Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Representative Darrell Issa of California, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee…
Republicans immediately denounced the president’s action.
“Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding Fast and Furious were confined to the Department of Justice. The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation or the cover-up that followed,” said Michael Steel, the spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.”The administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?”
March 20, 2012
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican lawmakers are demanding to know why one of the main gun trafficking suspects in the Fast and Furious operation was released after being interrogated by an ATF agent in 2010.
Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta was not arrested until February 2011, another eight months after he was first questioned, over which time five straw purchasers the ATF knew to be working with Celis-Acosta illegally acquired more than 284 weapons, say Rep. Darell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a joint letter.
Grassley and Issa demand in their Monday letter to Holder that the Justice Department brief their two committees on why Celis-Acosta was not arrested on the scene in 2010. The two Republicans request that the briefing take place no later than March 26.
February 2, 2012
Fox News, 2/2/12
Top Department of Justice officials had extensive knowledge of and involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, claims a new report released Thursday, hours before Attorney General Eric Holder’s scheduled testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The report released by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, top lawmakers investigating the botched gunrunning operation, claims Justice Department officials in Washington and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in the coordination in the early stages of the operation. Justice headquarters “had much greater knowledge of, and involvement in, Fast and Furious than it has previously acknowledged,” the memo reads.
The memo, which contradicts claims by the Justice Department, is based upon interviews, documents and emails involving key players of the operation run by the ATF. The operation allowed some 2,000 weapons cross the border into Mexico and into the hands of cartel members.
February 2, 2012
Attorney General Eric Holder will face off with House Republican Darrell Issa Thursday over Mexican-border gun-running, a showdown that comes after Issa and the Justice Department exchanged sharp letters in recent days.
Holder is scheduled to appear before Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday to discuss the controversial sting operation called “Operation Fast and Furious.”
The operation, designed to monitor the flow of weapons, allowed illegally purchased firearms to be taken from U.S. gun stores across the Mexican border to drug cartels. However, hundreds of weapons were lost or unaccounted for, and a storm of outrage erupted when two of the missing weapons were found at a site where Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010.
Democrats and Republicans have since been at odds over who knew what about the operation and when.
December 8, 2011
The anger between Congress and the Obama administration over Operation Fast and Furious erupted Thursday in an exchange notable for its vitriol even by current Washington standards.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chief House investigator into the botched gun trafficking operation, compared Attorney General Eric Holder’s conduct to that of Richard Nixon’s attorney general during Watergate. Holder likened the congressional inquiry into his department’s actions to Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunt for communists in the U.S. government.
The showdown capped a hearing that produced more confrontations than revelations about the scandal surrounding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and an operation that allowed as many as 2,000 guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
December 6, 2011
Fox News, 12/6/11
Rep. Darrell Issa is launching a congressional investigation into the Drug Enforcement Administration following claims that the agency helped drug cartels launder money — an operation the lawmaker said bears striking resemblance to the failed “Fast and Furious” anti-gunrunning probe.
Both operations were run by agencies within the Justice Department. Fast and Furious, which Issa and other lawmakers have been investigating all year, was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The alleged money-laundering operation was run by the DEA.
While Fast and Furious was designed to allow federal agents to trace the flow of illegal weapons to the Mexican cartels, the DEA operation reportedly was designed to allow agents to trace the flow of money. “It looks like it’s the same sort of a program,” Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Fox News on Tuesday.