The Ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley has been dissecting Holder’s Nov. 8 testimony before that panel in a series of articles published on his website. In Monday’s installment, Grassley notes:
According to emails produced by the Justice Department, Nathan Gray, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Division, was at the press conference held that day to announce the death of Agent Terry, and was telling individuals there about the connection to Operation Fast and Furious. Thus, by the time Secretary Napolitano visited Arizona a few days later, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were clearly aware of the connection.
It is clear, however, that multiple officials from multiple agencies knew almost immediately of the connection between Fast and Furious and Agent Terry’s death, including Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler. The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have failed to adequately explain why Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano allegedly remained ignorant of that connection.
Grassley provides documentation to support his observations. Though redacted in some places, these documents suggest that people knew almost immediately that two guns recovered at the Terry crime scene were directly linked to the Fast and Furious investigation. But in the aftermath, Holder has insisted, he was not one of them. And this leaves Grassley scratching his head in disbelief.
Regardless, by using the word ‘directly,’ Holder seems to be echoing the statement of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer: “The tragic truth is that if those criminals who killed Agent Terry had not gotten the guns from this one source, they would have gotten the gun from another source.” That is hardly an excuse for federal law enforcement to watch criminals collect more than a thousand firearms without acting to stop them.
Grassley’s string of commentaries, discussed by this column here, here and here, is beginning to look like a roadmap to Holder’s collision with Issa and what the California congressman knows about the operation that no longer appears to have been “botched” by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but now seems to have gone almost as it was planned, except for one small inconvenience – the death of a Border Patrol agent – and one other little problem: people found out about the connection.
Again: the operation went down just the way they wanted; it's the coverup that's a failed/botched operation.