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Issa, Grassley name 12 senior Justice officials in Fast and Furious letter

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House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican,  and Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, ripped Attorney General Eric Holder  again in another Monday letter.

The top Republicans investigating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms  and Explosives (ATF) Operation Fast and Furious also  blasted Holder for allegations that he allowed his Justice Department to  skew potential witnesses by prepping them with access to background  information.


In this new letter, Issa and Grassley name 12 senior Justice Department  political officials they believe may have been involved in the decision which  allowed guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. They asked Holder to  provide all records relating to communications between those 12 individuals  regarding Operation Fast and Furious.

“As our investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has progressed, we have  learned that senior officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ), including  Senate-confirmed political appointees, were unquestionably aware of the  implementation of this reckless program,” Grassley and Issa wrote to Holder.  “Therefore it is necessary to review communications between and among these  senior officials.”

Obama administration officials Issa and Grassley named in their letter were:

    –Former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden –Deputy Attorney General  James Cole –Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer –Deputy Assistant  Attorney General Kenneth Blanco –Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason  Weinstein –Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Keeney –Associate Deputy  Attorney General Matt Axelrod –Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed  Siskel –Gary Grindler in the Office of the Attorney General –Brad Smith,  in the office of the Deputy Attorney General –Kevin Carwile, section chief of  the Capital Case Unit –Joseph Cooley,  in the Criminal Fraud Section

The records Issa and Grassley are requesting include emails, memos, briefing  papers and handwritten notes. They also requested any records concerning any  large weapons trafficking cases within ATF or in Phoenix. The deadline they gave  Holder is July 18 at noon.

(Grassley,  Issa slam Holder again: Are you skewing witnesses?)

Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner were ATF programs the  administration aimed at stopping guns from getting into the hands of criminals  in Mexico.

With Operation Fast and Furious, Obama administration officials permitted  “straw purchasers” to buy guns and then to sell them to Mexican drug cartels  with the goal of tracking the flow of arms to determine how the market  functioned. The program backfired with criminals ending up getting guns.

Most egregiously, two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed by drug cartels  using Operation Fast and Furious guns.


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