The White House’s refusal to release communications related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking program and the refusal of a White House official to be interviewed about the matter “made it impossible” for the inspector general (IG) of the Justice Department to “pursue that aspect of the case,” the IG, Michael Horowitz, testified.
He added that the sought-after White House interview and communications constituted “a lead we wanted to follow.”
But it was a 'complete investigation that cleared the AG', etc. ad Bullshit.
Also from the IG,
It's been a key subject of dispute throughout the "Fast and Furious"
saga but one shrouded in mystery: whether wiretap applications reviewed
and approved by senior Justice Department officials should have tipped
them off about the dangerous tactics being used in the operation.
Now Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general, is
broadly siding with Issa, saying in testimony before the Oversight panel
today that the wiretap applications should have raised red flags to
senior officials who approved them.
Asked by several Republican lawmakers at the hearing whether reading
the wiretap applications would have indicated that guns were being
"walked," the tactic employed in Fast and Furious, Horowitz said "yes."
He then added a more nuanced version included in the report, that
someone "who was focused on the question of investigative tactics,
particularly one who was already sensitive to the issue of 'gun
walking,'" would have "questions about ATF's conduct of the
You'll notice, at the end of this, that Rep. Cummings is playing "Bush started it!" As if that would somehow excuse the guilty in this from responsibility for their actions and inactions.
From Grassley's statement on the report:
“At first glance, the Inspector General’s report reaffirms virtually
everything that Congressman Issa and I have already reported. Operation
Fast and Furious was the height of irresponsibility on the part of a
number of people from the ATF Phoenix field office all the way up to the
Justice Department headquarters. And, we still don’t know the full
extent of any White House involvement because they refused to be
transparent and provide documents requested by the Inspector General.
“It’s clear that both the ATF and the Justice Department failed to
provide meaningful oversight of Operation Fast and Furious. They
ignored warnings from employees, and frankly, failed to do their jobs.
It took the death of our own Border Patrol Agent, action by a courageous
whistleblower, and intense scrutiny from Congress before they even took
note of what was happening under their own eyes. Even then, they
wouldn’t come clean with how bad it really was until after they had sent
a false letter and retracted it eight months later.
“It’s particularly discouraging that this all could have been stopped
early on if people had just read the wiretap applications. The
Inspector General noted that anybody reading those documents should have
seen the red flags. The law requires that certain senior officials
authorize those applications, and the Inspector General found that they
did so without reading them(That's assuming they DIDN'T read them...). I’m glad that the OIG is joining me and
Chairman Issa in urging the Justice Department to move to unseal the
wiretap applications so that the American people can read them and make
up their own minds.
“The President also appears to be abusing his authority to exert
executive privilege. The White House rightly allowed the Inspector
General to make public a small subset of the documents withheld from
Congress under his claim of Executive Privilege, but it continues to
shut out Congress’ access to the rest of the documents. It proves that
this subset of documents could have been released earlier, and the
President was merely thumbing his nose at Congress by claiming Executive
Privilege on the eve of the contempt vote against Attorney General
Holder for withholding the documents.
“It’s time to hold people accountable. Attorney General Holder is out of excuses for action.