The stonewalling of the House Oversight Committee investigation into Operation Fast and Furious has officially moved from the Obama Justice Department to the Obama White House. Chairman Darrell Issa requested an interview with White House national security director of North American Kevin O'Reilly last fall. The reason for the request? During a July 26, 2011 committee hearing, former Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Phoenix Field Division Bill Newell admitted to being in contact with O'Reilly in the White House about Fast and Furious. Emails also show the two were in contact. Newell wrote to O'Reilly on multiple occasions. One email said, "You didn't get this from me." Newell also sent O'Reilly a map showing where guns from gunrunner impact team operations were ending up at violent crime scenes in Mexico. O'Reilly shared information about the program with other White House staffers, national security official Greg Gatjanis and President Obama's senior Latin American Advisor Dan Restrepo. O'Reilly was conveniently shipped to Iraq after the revelation the White House had in fact been in contact about Fast and Furious, despite denying any knowledge of the program.
The White House responded to the emails as expected and how everyone else in this scandal has responded, by denying knowledge about gunwalking and Fast and Furious as an operation.
"The emails validate what has been said previously, which is no one at the White House knew about the investigative tactics being used in the operation, let alone any decision to let guns walk," said the official, who was not authorized to speak about it publicly. "To the extent that some [national security staff members] were briefed on the top lines of ongoing federal efforts, so were members of Congress."
Now, months later, Issa has requested again to interview O'Reilly. O'Reilly's personal attorney has said his client is open to the interview, but the White House is preventing it from happening.
|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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