Monday, July 18, 2011
Oooooh, let the flopsweat REALLY break out!
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley today pressed Attorney General Eric Holder about the Justice Department’s unsatisfactory responses and lack of cooperation with an investigation into the highly controversial Operation Fast and Furious. A letter sent by the two lead investigators highlighted testimony indicating internal disputes within the Justice Department and a statement from the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that the Justice Department is attempting to protect its political appointees
“It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the Department,” ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson said of his frustration with the Justice Department’s response to the investigation in a transcribed interview..
Oh, that's good. And it gets better.
“The Department should not be withholding what Mr. Melson described as the ‘smoking gun’ report of investigation or Mr. Melson’s emails regarding the wiretap applications,” wrote Issa and Grassley. “Mr. Melson said he reviewed the affidavits in support of the wiretap applications for the first time after the controversy became public and immediately contacted the Deputy Attorney General’s office to raise concerns about information in them that was inconsistent with the Department’s public denials. The Department should also address the serious questions raised by Mr. Melson’s testimony regarding potential informants for other agencies.”
So Melson told the committee of at least one specific report and his e-mails that DoJ did not hand over to the committee as ordered, and- if I'm remembering right- denied even existed, or said "We can't find anything like that" along with "The dog ate it." It would probably be simpler for Grassley and Issa to just say "You do realize, at this point, that we know when you're lying to us, don't you? Or we will find out when you do? So maybe we should just drag you down here and put you under oath, would you like that?"
From the LA Times article:
Melson said the Justice Department repeatedly thwarted his attempts to tell investigators about the failures of Fast and Furious, which was run out of the ATF's Phoenix field office. When the ATF reassigned managers in Phoenix, he said, "the department resisted" his offer to tell Congress about the changes. Melson said he was told not to issue any news releases about Fast and Furious and was instructed not to brief rank-and-file ATF agents about the growing scandal.
When Grassley sought to meet with Melson this year, the Justice Department blocked that interview too, Melson said. "This is really just poking [Grassley] in the eye," Melson said he told Justice Department officials. "He's going to get it through the back door anyway, so why are we aggravating this situation?"
Because they're scared to death of the consequences and want to stave it off as long as possible? Hoping the friendly media and GFW clowns in the House and Senate will have more time to try to save their sorry asses?
You know, sooner or later a bunch of these people are going to be sitting in front of the committee and be placed under oath; it's going to be interesting to see how many are willing to commit perjury or otherwise try to conceal.