The attorneys of Bill Newell, embattled former ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division, and David Voth, Supervisor of Phoenix Group VII (the group that carried out Operation Fast and Furious), are accusing Senator Charles Grassley and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa of making “many inaccurate and harmful statements” and “factual distortions against” their clients.
In a letter obtained by Townhall, attorney and former Department of Justice Prosecutor Paul E. Pelletier, representing Newell, writes on behalf his defendant to “correct the factual distortions in your staff’s ‘memorandum.’ To be clear, this faulty memorandum and the conduct of the Committee’s investigation to date has disserved the hard working ATF agents, in Phoenix and elsewhere who, with great personal sacrifice, risk their lives every day to make a difference in the communities in which we live. It is, of course, now evident that the citizens of this country are far less safe today primarily as a result of the irresponsible manner in which this ‘outcome-determined’ investigation has been conducted.”
Pelletier accuses Issa and Grassley of refusing to follow evidence in the Fast and Furious investigation, saying, “I have learned that the ultimate success and legitimacy of any investigation depends upon the capacity of investigators to blindly follow the evidence where it leads and to neutrally and dispassionately evaluate that evidence before reaching a conclusion. Given your staff’s tortured factual conclusions, your staff’s utter disregard of any evidence that contravened or rebutted the preordained and misdirected conclusions of misconduct, speculation to motive is unnecessary.”
The letter lists three “false assertions” made by the Issa and Grassley:
1. ATF purposely failed to confront straw purchasers and interdict guns. Disrupting and deterring the illegal activity took a backseat to the lawful goal of dismantling the entire organization.
2. Intercepts from the DEA wiretap provided the probable cause necessary for ATF to make arrests as early as December 2009, or, at the very least, supplied the necessary predicate to use other investigative techniques to disrupt illegal activity and seize the weapons. ... ATF, however, did not act on this information. Agents could have arrested Celis-Acosta in December of 2009 and used the arrest to work their way up the ladder to the two cartel associates.
|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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