- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Issa: No evidence of White House cover-up in Fast and Furious probe
Question of the Day
The chairman of a House committee that recommended a contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in the Fast and Furious gunrunning probe says there is no evidence so far that White House officials were involved in misleading Congress or engaged in a cover-up.
And Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he hopes the investigation “stays at Justice” and the department decides to hand over hundreds of documents it has withheld despite a committee subpoena.
President Obama injected the White House into the Fast and Furious debate last week when he asserted executive privilege over documents still being sought by the committee, and the question of whether Mr. Holder will be held in contempt now rests with the full House, which is expected to take up the matter this week.
Last week, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Mr. Obama’s action was an “admission” that “White House officials were involved in the decision that misled Congress and covered up the truth” about Fast and Furious, during which more than 2,000 weapons — including AK-47 semi-automatic rifles were walked to drug smugglers in Mexico.
The chairman, however, isn’t backing down on his claim that the Obama administration may have intentionally flooded the Mexican market with Fast and Furious guns to drum up support for gun control. He said emails obtained from the administration show officials knew the incident could help them build a case for banning assault weapons although it’s unclear whether that motivated them or just realized it after the fact.
“Chicken or egg, we don’t know which came first, and we probably never will,” Mr. Issa said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The people involved saw the benefit of what they were gathering. Whether that was their original purposes, we’ll probably never know.”
Mr. Issa also said on “Fox News Sunday”that he called the mother of slain U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry on Saturday night to tell her he’ll keep digging for the truth about Fast and Furious. Two weapons found at the scene of the fatal December 2010 shootout with Mexican bandits were purchased by Fast and Furious straw buyers.
“I told her that in fact we’re going to continue, regardless of what the vote is this week,” Mr. Issa said. “We have an obligation to get to the bottom of Fast and Furious.”
The investigation into the gunrunning operation kicked into high-gear after the Terry death, when Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, first challenged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-led program. Several ATF field agents told Mr. Grassley they had serious concerns about weapons being walked into Mexico.
Fast and Furious began in September 2009 with the intent of tracking weapons purchased in gun shops in the Phoenix area to drug cartels in Mexico, but ATF agents lost track of the weapons.
Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder have both denied knowing about Fast and Furious when it began, but have on numerous occasions likened it to a similar program tried during the administration of President George W. Bush known as “Wide Receiver.”
Wide Receiver began in 2006 and ended in 2007. ATF agents, under what was described as “controlled delivery,” allowed the sale and transfer of weapons with assurances from Mexican officials they would be monitored and interdicted in Mexico. When many of the weapons were lost after they crossed the border despite being equipped with miniature GPS devices, the operation was shut down.
As a committee chairman, Mr. Issa initiated an investigation into Fast and Furious and a number of hearings on the program. He predicted a “bipartisan” vote in the House this week to hold Mr. Holder in contempt for withholding documents he said could shed light on who was involved from Justice and the White House.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- A familiar fading feeling for McMahon in Connecticut
- Romney’s bid to undo health law faces hurdles
- Hill GOP presses Medicare probe
- Romney, Obama advisors butt heads over binders, Big Bird and “Romnesia”
- Outsiders abide by rules in Brown-Warren race
Latest Blog Entries
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
- Eric Holder asks for respect from protesters of George Zimmerman verdict
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow