- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two scandals that have rocked the Obama administration are “causing Americans to lose confidence in their government,” Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, plans to issue new subpoenas this week in relation to the “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program that used straw buyers to purchase firearms that then were supplied to Mexican drug cartels.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. testified in May that he had learned of “Fast and Furious” only weeks before, but recently released internal memos seem to tell a different story.

“We want to know what did they know and when did they know it. At what level did the authorization really come?” Mr. Issa said. “People at the top [of the Justice Department] were well briefed.”

He said he does not share President Obama’s “full confidence” in Mr. Holder, who late last week took aim at his Republican critics for using “irresponsible and inflammatory rhetoric” in questioning his leadership and continued to try to distance himself from the ill-fated operation.

In addition to “Fast and Furious,” Mr. Issa said, the administration also must answer questions regarding Solyndra, the bankrupt solar power company that received more than $500 million in federal loan money only to go belly up and leave taxpayers holding the bag.

“Solyndra is a story of political interference,” he said, adding that the administration was so committed to furthering the renewable energy industry that it ignored the company’s financial problems and sought to invest even more taxpayer money despite the looming bankruptcy.