For the first time since Congress began investigating Operation Fast and Furious more than a year ago, a top lawmaker on Sunday publicly acknowledged another botched “gunwalking” investigation that was proposed and conducted by the Fast and Furious scandal’s chief whistleblower.
This comes as more information about the case is increasingly likely to be released. It is known that the documents being demanded by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee include discussions about whistleblowers, and those documents could include internal Justice Department emails about the case mentioned Sunday. In addition, the Justice Department inspector general’s own report on Fast and Furious is expected to cite the separate investigation.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in bringing up the case by name unprompted, was effectively pre-empting what could come to light in a possible document dump: that the operation was planned and carried out at the field level without the knowledge of DOJ higher-ups.
In coming forward, whistleblower John Dodson claimed Fast and Furious was the work of stubborn ATF supervisors run amok. But lawyers for those Arizona supervisors have said Dodson’s role in the other “gunwalking” case undercuts his credibility as a key witness against Fast and Furious. Those trying to protect the Justice Department — and Attorney General Eric Holder from contempt proceedings — could make the same argument.
The document, a proposal obtained by Fox News, asked ATF supervisors in Phoenix to “allow this investigation to proceed” by authorizing Dodson to deliver firearms to suspected gun-smuggler Isaias Fernandez. By the time of the proposal, Dodson had been introduced — in an undercover capacity — to Fernandez, who said he would pay $100 for each AK-style pistol Dodson could obtain from a licensed gun-dealer.
On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, when he was reminded that “gunwalking” cases such as “Operation Wide Receiver” and the “Medrano case” took place under the Bush administration, Issa jumped in to add, “And the Fernandez case, too.”
@ FYI: wiretapping the phone of Armando Rene Medrano, the alleged ringleader Accused Houston gun runners took the long road – literally
~ Suspected gun-smuggler Isaias Fernandez…
But the “Fernandez case” was not a Bush-era investigation. It was proposed and executed in the spring of 2010, at the same time Fast and Furious was well underway.