Attorney General Eric Holder just said in a hearing on Capitol Hill he has only known about Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious for a couple of weeks. Holder claimed that he does not know who authorized the operation and claimed the Justice Department has been cooperating in with the Oversight Committee in their investigation of the DOJ, and that he was very offended by Rep. Darrell Issa's suggestion that the Justice Department is responsible for the deaths of Border Patrol Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jamie Zapata. Guns used to killed the agents by cartel members have been tracked back to Project Gunrunner, meaning, those guns were sold to the cartels under order of the Justice Department and ATF.
The Justice Department has refused to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Oversight Committee and Chairman Issa has threatened to hold ATF and the DOJ in contempt if officials continue their refusal to comply with the investigation.
Although the following exchange is lengthy to read, it will be worth your time. The ATF Project Gunrunner may end up being the largest scandal to plague ATF and the DOJ in U.S. history.
Issa: When did you first know about the program, officially know as Fast and Furious?
Holder: I don't know an exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the past few weeks.
Issa: Now that you've been briefed on in, the President has said on March 22 that he didn't authorize it. Did your Deputy Attorney General James Cole authorize it?
Holder: I'm sorry the....?
Issa: The Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
Holder: Um.. I couldn't hear, did he....?
Issa: Did the deputy attorney general authorize it.
Holder: My guess would be no. Mr Cole wasn't in the...I think, I don't think he was in the department at the time that operation started.
Issa: He's been aware of it much longer.
Holder: Been aware of it much longer?
Issa: Than you have been aware of it. How about the head of the criminal division Lanny Breuer did he authorize it?
Holder: I'm not sure whether Mr. Breuer authorized it. You have to understand the way in which the department operates although there are operations, this one has gotten a great deal of publicity.
Issa: There are dead Americans as a result of this failed and reckless program so I would say that it hasn't gotten enough attention.
Holder: There's an investigation underway.
Issa: I am aware of the investigation.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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