Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney adamantly defended Attorney General Eric Holder, saying his testimony given to Congress on May 3, 2011 in response to a question from House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa about when he first knew about Operation Fast and Furious was "consistent and truthful." Holder is under fire for possibly perjuring himself after memos released this week show he was briefed on Operation Fast and Furious as early as July 2010, yet Holder said he had only known about the program for a couple of weeks in May 2011. During his press conference today, President Obama said he has full confidence in his attorney general surrouding Fast and Furious and that Holder didn't know about the program.
"The bottom line is the Attorney General's testimony to both the House and the Senate was constistent and truthful. He said in both March and May of this year that he became aware of the questionable tactics deployed in the Fast and Furious Operation in early 2011 when ATF agents first raised them publically. He then asked the inspector general to investigate the matter, demonstrating how seriously they took them."
The problem? Jay Carney isn't telling the truth about what Holder actually said on May 3, 2011. Here is a refresher.
Issa: When did you first know about the program officially I believe known as Operation Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge what date?
Holder: "I'm not sure of the exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."
At no point did Holder mention the word "tactics." Holder specifically refers to "Fast and Furious."
Now, new memos show Holder was consistently briefed at least five times about Fast and Furious since July 2010. Once again, the memos don't simply mention Eric Holder, they are addressed directly to him.
Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa today said that Attorney General Eric Holder received at least five weekly memos beginning in July 2010, including four weeks in a row, describing the ill-advised strategy known as Operation Fast and Furious. The memos were to Holder from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center.
July 5, 2011:
July 12, 2010
July 19, 2011:
August 9, 2011