Top Department of Justice officials had extensive knowledge of and involvement in Operation Fast and Furious, claims a new report released Thursday, hours before Attorney General Eric Holder’s scheduled testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The report released by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, top lawmakers investigating the botched gunrunning operation, claims Justice Department officials in Washington and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved in the coordination in the early stages of the operation.
Q: Did DOJ Know About ‘Furious’?
A: Memo Says Yes, a ‘Terrific Idea’
Attorney General Eric Holder vigorously denies a ‘cover-up’ by the Justice Department over the botched ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ gun-running program, telling a House panel led by Rep. Darrell Issa that while no one has been punished — and despite a possible link to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — he has nothing to hide, suggesting instead the probe is a ‘political’ effort to embarrass the administration.
Justice headquarters “had much greater knowledge of, and involvement in, Fast and Furious than it has previously acknowledged,” the memo reads.
The memo, which contradicts claims by the Justice Department, is based upon interviews, documents and emails involving key players of the operation run by the ATF. The operation allowed some 2,000 weapons cross the border into Mexico and into the hands of cartel members.