Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are officially trying to cover for Attorney General Eric Holder just before he testifies on Thursday about Operation Fast and Furious, with anti-Second Amendment Ranking Member Elijah Cummings leading the way. Last night, Cummings released a 95 pagewaste of paper and taxpayer money report, alleging that top Justice Department officials did not authorize the program, despite evidence showing otherwise. The report tries to pin the blame back on a few “rogue” managers in the ATF Phoenix Field Division. This is the same argument we’ve heard since the beginning of the scandal: it was a local operation, nobody important knew anything.
A few important points:
First, Deputy Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer (the number two man in DOJ), approved wiretaps for Operation Fast and Furious. Wiretap applications require excruciating detail about a case to be presented before approval. Wiretaps are considered the most intrusive tool law enforcement can use. Breuer, who read through the wiretap applications, knew details of the strategy used in Fast and Furious, letting guns walk into Mexico without alerting Mexican authorities, yet he approved it anyway. New emails released last Friday in a late night document dump, show Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed about Brian Terry’s death just hours after he was murdered in the early morning hours on December 15, 2010. Later in the day, Holder’s deputy chief of staff at the time Monty Wilkinson, was told directly by former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke that the guns found at the murder scene were part of Operation Fast and Furious. According to the report, Wilkinson doesn’t “recall” that email, despite replying to it with, “Call you tomorrow.” Burke, who resigned from his position as U.S. Attorney in August, was in “complete agreement” with former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Division Bill Newell about Fast and Furious tactics according to a January 8, 2010 briefing memo.
If Wilkinson’s “I don’t recall,” argument sounds familiar, there’s a reason why. On May 3, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder testifed before the House Judicary Committee that he had only known about Fast and Furious, “for a couple of weeks.” Five months later, memos addressed directly to Holder surfaced, with details and discussion about the program. In defense, Holder said he didn’t read the memos and that his staff didn’t inform him of their content.
Second, the report claims Fast and Furious was not used as a way for the Obama administration to push through back door gun control measures.
“The report debunks many unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Contrary to repeated claims by some, the Committee has obtained no evidence that Operation Fast and Furious was a politically-motivated operation conceived and directed by high-level Obama Administration political appointees at the Department of Justice,” Cummings wrote in the report.
Now Cummings is hysterical in an attempt to distract attention from the Democrat terrorist attack in Orlando:
— House OversightDems (@OversightDems) June 23, 2016
But five years ago Cummings took umbrage at so-called heated rhetoric:
Titled “Fatally Flawed: Five Years of Gunwalking in Arizona,” much of the report is a historical overview of “gunwalking operations” dating back to 2006, and in a letter to Republicans accompanying the report, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said he told his staff “to focus on the facts we have discovered rather than the heated and sometimes inaccurate rhetoric.”