Gosar: Report shows Holder must go

| September 21 2012

Representative Gosar: Time is Up! Report Proves Attorney General Must Go                                              

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ) demanded answers from the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing today. Inspector General Horowitz provided testimony on his internal investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.

“As the Inspector General Michael Horowitz made very clear today in his testimony and in his final report, Attorney General Holder and top officials at the DOJ failed to connect the dots and realize the consequences of this ill-conceived operation. This neglect of accountability has cost lives on both sides of the border, putting the American and Mexican people at risk of increased violence,” said Congressman Gosar.  “To this end, it is time that Attorney General Holder recognize that his time of spinning and stalling is up.  His resignation is long overdue and now would be a good time to allow us as a nation to move forward and restore the confidence of the American people in the DOJ.”

The report released yesterday was the result of over a yearlong investigation. During the time this investigation was being conducted, Attorney General Holder used it as a key excuse for stonewalling Congress. This report confirms a broad failure by the Attorney General and his inner-circle to take appropriate action for over a year. The report is available here.

As the only member from Arizona on the Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, Congressman Gosar has been a leading advocate for the victims of Operation Fast and Furious by demanding answers and justice. Gosar is the lead sponsor of H. Res. 490, a “Resolution of No Confidence” in the Attorney General, which currently has 114 cosponsors.

 

Representative Gosar: Fast and Furious Report Shows DOJ Disregard for Public’s Safety                                              

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ) released the following statement on Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s findings in the Operation Fast and Furious report released today.

“This report confirms what I have firmly believed and said since information about Fast and Furious came to light—officials at the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, acted with a reckless disregard for the lives and safety of Americans and Mexicans alike,” said Congressman Gosar.  “The report shows a lack of accountability and transparency at main Justice, which has been the basis of congressional inquiries.  I look forward to tomorrow’s hearing and the opportunity to hear from Inspector General Horowitz on his findings.”

“We must not forget what this report was about.  The consequences of Fast and Furious are higher crime and more deaths.  I remain committed to seeing justice brought for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the hundreds of Mexicans who have lost their lives.”

“This report relied on approximately 100,000 documents and 130 people who were interviewed, many of which were not made available for congressional inquiry.  The American people deserve better from their Attorney General which is why I voted to hold him in contempt, and why I am sponsoring a House Resolution of No Confidence in him (H. Res. 490). Attorney General Holder must resign, and President Obama must insist upon the agency’s full cooperation during the remainder of our investigation.”

Congressman Gosar will be questioning the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the report at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing tomorrow, September 20th. The public will be able to watch this hearing by streaming it online at http://oversight.house.gov.

Congressman Gosar has been a leading advocate for the victims of Operation Fast and Furious by demanding answers and justice.  Gosar is the lead sponsor of H. Res. 490, a “Resolution of No Confidence” in the Attorney General, which currently has 114 cosponsors.

 

More information from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

 

Key Findings in OIG Fast and Furious Report

On why Attorney General Holder was not aware of Crucial Information about Operation Fast and Furious and Other Gunwalking

“We concluded that the Attorney General’s Deputy Chief of Staff, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, and the leadership of the Criminal Division failed to alert the Attorney General to significant information about or flaws in those investigations.” (p. 453)

Department’s effort to mislead Congress “Troubling”

“We also concluded that by the date of its May 2 letter to Sen. Grassley, senior Department officials responsible for drafting the letter knew or should have known that ATF had not made ‘every effort to interdict weapons purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico,’ either in Operation Fast and Furious or other firearms trafficking investigations … Given that senior Department officials’ confidence in the accuracy of the February 4 letter was decreasing rather than increasing as their internal review progressed, we found it troubling that the Department’s May 2 response letter to Sen. Grassley included a substantive statement – albeit a qualified one – regarding the Fast and Furious investigation.” (p. 396)

Contradicts denials by Holder, Cummings of significant information about reckless tactics in wiretap affidavits

(11/8/11) Attorney General Holder: “I don’t have any information that indicates that those wiretap applications had anything in them that talked about the tactics that have made this such a bone of contention and have legitimately raised the concern of members of Congress, as well as those of us in the Justice Department. I – I’d be surprised if the tactics themselves about gun walking were actually contained in those – in those applications.”

(6/5/2012): House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings: “[A]ll six of these wiretap applications state explicitly that law enforcement agents on the ground in Arizona did not observe the illegal acts of transferring firearms to unauthorized persons or trafficking firearms across the border to Mexico.”

(9/19/12) DOJ IG rebuke:

“We found that the affidavits described specific incidents that would suggest to a prosecutor who was focused on the question of investigative tactics that ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers.”  (p. 277)

“Moreover, a reader of only the 5-page OEO cover memorandum would have learned significant facts [redacted] . . . We concluded that a reader of the OEO cover memorandum would infer from the facts stated that ATF agents did not take enforcement action to interdict the weapons or arrest [redacted].”  (p. 279)

[Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason] Weinstein told us that when he received the first wiretap application he was asked to review for Operation Fast and Furious just two weeks later, on May 18, 2010, he did not review the agent’s affidavit in support of the application. Moreover, although Weinstein told us that he reviewed the OEO cover memoranda accompanying that application, he failed to recognize that the memoranda clearly suggested that ATF agents had monitored purchases of firearms that they knew were illegal, and allowed a known straw purchaser to continue his illegal activities for a gun trafficking organization that sold weapons to a drug cartel in Mexico. (p.456)

Faults conduct of Criminal Division head, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer

“Breuer told us that upon learning this information, he told Deputy Assistant Attorney General Weinstein to talk to ATF leadership to make sure that they understood that the Criminal Division planned to move forward with the case, but that the investigation had used “obviously flawed” techniques. Given the significance of this issue and the fact that ATF reports to the Deputy Attorney General, we believe Breuer should have promptly informed the Deputy Attorney General or the Attorney General about the matter in April 2010. Breuer failed to do so.” (p. 455)

Office of the Attorney General faulted in response to Agent Terry’s death

“Neither the [Office of the Attorney General] or [Office of the Deputy Attorney General] took appropriate action after learning that firearms found at the scene [of the Terry murder] were connected to the Operation.  We believe that an aggressive response to the information was required, including prompt notification of the Attorney General and appropriate inquiry of ATF and the US Attorney’s Office.  However, we found that senior officials who were aware of this information, including Grindler, took no action whatsoever.”  (p. 302)

Expresses disagreement with Holder’s laissez-faire approach to Terry Murder

“When we asked Holder whether he believed that his staff should have informed him sooner about the connection between Fast and Furious and the firearms found at the scene of the Terry shooting, he said that he would not have expected to receive that information absent some indication that ‘inappropriate tactics’ had been used in the investigation.  However, Holder’s Chief of Staff told us that he believed this information was significant and that it should have been brought to the Attorney General’s attention.  We agree.” (p.303)

 

OGR Democrats’ False Statements on Fast and Furious Wiretap Applications: Willfully Misleading the American People or Just Plain Wrong?

“Missing from the public debate has been the wiretap applications themselves, which are under court seal. Issa obtained the documents despite the seal.  Issa plans to challenge Democrats on the Oversight panel on whether they have taken the opportunity to review them and, if they have, whether they agree with Holder and Cummings about the contents of the applications.”

- Roll Call, 6/18/2012

OGR Dems saying wiretaps did not show reckless tactics:

“[A]ll six of these wiretap applications state explicitly that law enforcement agents on the ground in Arizona did not observe the illegal acts of transferring firearms to unauthorized persons or trafficking firearms across the border to Mexico.”

Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, 6/15/2012

“[T]he wiretap applications. I read through them yesterday, and I would say without — since we can’t talk about what was in them, that my perception of what they would imply was far different than my friend from South Carolina’s perception.”
Rep. John Yarmuth, 6/20/2012

“We have to be cautious because of the privileged nature of the wiretaps. So, I can’t talk about the contents of those. But I can say after reading those, nothing — nothing in those wiretaps supports what you’re alleging. Not a — matter of fact, they refute — they refute everything you’re saying.”

Rep. Stephen Lynch, 6/20/2012

IG Contradicts their false assurances to the public:

“We found that the affidavits described specific incidents that would suggest to a prosecutor who was focused on the question of investigative tactics that ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers.” (p. 277)

“Moreover, a reader of only the 5-page OEO cover memorandum would have learned significant facts [redacted] . . . We concluded that a reader of the OEO cover memorandum would infer from the facts stated that ATF agents did not take enforcement action to interdict the weapons or arrest [redacted].”  (p. 279)

###

0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest