"On Monday, July 4, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson testified before investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee about Operation Fast and Furious," a Committee press release reports.
What? I thought he was to testify in the 14th?
He appeared with his personal counsel, Richard Cullen of McGuire Woods LLP. His interview had originally been scheduled through the Justice Department to occur on July 13 in the presence of DOJ and ATF counsel. As you know, however, under our agreement Department witnesses who choose to attend a voluntary interview with their own lawyer are free to exercise that right rather than participate with counsel representing the Department's interests.
After being made aware of that provision of our agreement, Acting Director Melson chose to exercise that right and appeared with his own lawyer. We are disappointed that no one had previously informed him of that provision of the agreement. Instead, Justice Department officials sought to limit and control his communications with Congress. This is yet another example of why direct communications with Congress are so important and are protected by law.
Oh, boy. So Melson went off the reservation and talked to the committee. WITHOUT DoJ or ATF lawyers being there. On bleepin' JULY 4th, no less. And notice that 'disappointed' line; another "We know what you did, don't think we don't. And we don't like it" moment.
I don't doubt he's playing "I didn't know about everything!" game:
According to Mr. Melson, it was not until after the public controversy that he personally reviewed hundreds of documents relating to the case, including wiretap applications and Reports of Investigation (ROIs). By his account, he was sick to his stomach when he obtained those documents and learned the full story.
That's either an admission of not knowing what his agency was doing(bad management or 'if you don't tell me, I can say I didn't know') or claiming "My subordinates kept a lot of this from me!" Either way, not good.
I keep thinking of the reported reaction Melson had to Agent Terry's family testifying; he's said to have looked sick. Makes me think either some crap he hadn't been told slapping him in the face, or actually having to face the consequences of the operation for the first time and not liking it. Maybe the man has a conscience. We'll see, and we'll see what comes next.
Added: in no way do I believe he didn't know what was going on. I think it's possible that having to face the family of one of the victims of this idiocy may have shocked his moral sense back into action(somewhat); add to that facing the fact that Obama & Holder wanted him to fall on his sword and take the primary blame for this... I could be wrong: he could be just one more corrupt former lawman who's trying to keep his ass out of a cell, and/or safe from being sued.