By Jim Kouri
On this week’s Fox News Sunday, Congressman Darryl Issa announced that “another round of subpoenas” will be sent out for additional documents regarding an anti-gunrunning operation that ended in tragedy with the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
While Attorney General Eric Holder continues to maintain he was kept in the dark by his subordinates, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-NE) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) yesterday in a joint statement said that Attorney General Eric Holder received at least five weekly memos beginning in July 2010, including four weeks in a row, describing the ill-advised strategy known as Operation Fast and Furious.
The memos were to Holder from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center.
The Attorney General told Chairman Issa during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in May 2011 that he had just learned of Fast and Furious a few weeks before.
Yet, on January 31, in a previously scheduled meeting, Sen. Grassley personally handed him two letters about Fast and Furious. Grassley and Issa said they find it very troubling that Holder actually knew of Operation Fast and Furious much earlier, and in greater detail than he ever let on.
The Justice Department memos specifically said that the straw buyers were “responsible for the purchase of 1500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”
“With the fairly detailed information that the Attorney General read, it seems the logical question for the Attorney General after reading the memo would be “why haven’t we stopped them?” Grassley said. “And if he didn’t ask the questions, why didn’t he or somebody [else] in his office?”
“Attorney General Holder has failed to give Congress and the American people an honest account of what he and other senior Justice Department officials knew about gunwalking and Operation Fast and Furious. The lack of candor and honesty from our nation’s chief law enforcement officials in this matter is deeply disturbing,” Rep. Issa said.
Grassley and Issa have been leading the investigation into who approved the strategy to allow guns to be purchased by known straw buyers who then often transferred the firearms to Mexican Drug Cartels.
Both lawmakers have complained that Holder, the Justice Department and the Obama White House have been spinning, stonewalling or defying a full investigation. There also is a growing number of lawmakers who wish to have a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Attorney General, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Department of Justice and their links to Operation Fast and Furious.