Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder is continuing to stonewall congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. This time, Holder is refusing to provide 11 of the 12 witnesses Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa have requested be made available for interviews.
“We have requested 12 Justice Department witnesses be made available for transcribed interviews,” Grassley said in a Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting. “Despite the department’s promises of good faith cooperation, only one witness has been provided so far — former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. The department has refused to schedule interviews with any of the other 11 witnesses. That’s not the good faith cooperation I was promised, and it is unacceptable.”
Grassley and Issa are demanding to know who was involved in crafting a February 4 letter to the Department of Justice sent to Congress, which contained claims — now understood to be false — that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives did not allow guns to walk into Mexico.
And from Sipsey,
Recall this from earlier this week:
"Some of the overheated rhetoric might lead you to believe that this local Arizona based operation was somehow the cause of the epidemic of gun violence in Mexico. In fact, Fast and Furious was a flawed response to and not the cause of the flow of illegal guns from the United States into Mexico." -- Eric Holder, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, 8 November 2011.Senator John Cornyn wasn't about to let him get away with the "local" defense, i.e. blaming Phoenix:
"On August the 7th, I sent you a letter, asking you about the Texas connections, and I got a letter back last Friday from your subordinates, saying that you were unable to provide more information at this time. I'm hopeful you will be able to provide more information, because we know that the weapons from Fast and Furious have shown up at 11 different crime scenes in the United States, and this is far from, as you'd stated earlier, a local law enforcement operation in terms of its impact." -- Senator John Cornyn to Eric Holder, ibid.Which then led to this exchange:
CORNYN: OK. Well, let me go on to something else. Do you still contend this is still a local law enforcement operation?"It was not a national operation."
HOLDER: No, no; it's a federal -- oh, no, no, that -- don't misinterpret that. It's a -- it's a federal law enforcement...
CORNYN: Well, they're your words. You said it was it was...
HOLDER: No, no...
CORNYN: ... a local law enforcement...
HOLDER: Well, then, that's my fault.
CORNYN: ... opening testimony.
HOLDER: Well, that's my fault. It's a federal law enforcement operation that was concerned -- that was of local -- of local concern. It was not a national operation. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
CORNYN: Well, it metastasized, didn't it, to Mexico, it metastasized to Texas, and obviously Arizona. So it wasn't certainly local in effect. Well, you would agree with that?
HOLDER: Well, as I indicated in my opening statement, the impact of the mistakes made in Fast and Furious are going to be felt in Mexico, in United States, and probably for years to come.
We already have reporting from FOX and CBS that there were a number of gunwalking operations in a number of states. There is also the reporting by David Codrea and myself on the Tampa operation walking firearms to Honduras and more by David documenting gunwalking domestically in Indiana.
Holder however testified that the gunwalking was "local" and not "national." As a charter member of the Coalition of Willing Lilliputians commented yesterday, "Holder is placing a LOT of cards in his deck on the 'localized' aspect." If Holder can be proven a liar or even unaware of multiple locations or operations involving gunwalking, he said, that Holder is "seriously vulnerable."
Indeed he is.
"Seriously vulnerable" as in a demonstrated perjurer.
Also found this at Sipsey; the bolding is mine:
Press release from the Issa Committee:
November 9, 2011
Issa Presses DOJ Official on False Statement to Congress in Fast and Furious Probe
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa today pressed Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich for documents and other information related to a false statement Weich made to Congress regarding gun walking that took place in the reckless gun smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious. According to agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) “walking” guns occurs when agents or officials intentionally allow known criminals to leave the observation that occurs during a controlled law enforcement operation with weapons.
On February 4, 2011, Weich stated the following in letter to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who had asked if allegations that officials had intentionally allowed criminals to guns had been “walked” in Operation Fast and Furious:
“ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.”
Evidence gathered during the course of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has shown that this statement was untrue – ATF, in allowing guns to walk, did not make every effort to interdict them and prevent their transfer to Mexico. Evidence gathered in the investigation has also shown that senior Justice Department officials knew at the time Weich made his statement in February that it was untrue.
“Mr. Weich, as you are well aware, it is a crime to knowingly make false statements to Congress,” Chairman Issa writes in his letter to Weich. “As DOJ’s principal liaison to Congress, we rely on you to be straight with the facts. You have not been, and so your credibility on this issue has been seriously eroded. Whether it is the case that you were fed a lie and faithfully repeated it in a letter to Congress, or whether it is the case that you took the initiative to lie to Congress yourself, you are responsible for the contents of letters that bear your signature.”
Chairman Issa’s letter demands a complete list of individuals who helped prepare the February 4, 2011, letter to Senator Grassley as well as all documents relating to the preparation of that letter referring or relating to the development of DOJ’s response to Senator Grassley’s January 27, 2011 request for information.
PDF of the whole letter here.
Now, I don't know about you, but that 'you are responsible' line ought to scare hell out of Weich; reads like a warning to 'come clean or else'. Assuming, of course, that the Stupid Party leadership(I'm talking 'bout you, Boehner) has the balls and integrity to actually DO something about it.
And I'm gone for a bit.