By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Two years after weapons found at the site of the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent were traced to the failed Fast and Furious gunrunning investigation, a senior House Republican who led committee hearings into the shooting and the operation says there has been "real accountability" for those whose actions contributed to the death and Justice Department officials who failed to properly oversee the operation.
Four senior ATF managers who supervised the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning investigation could face termination if the recommendations of a disciplinary board are upheld.
House and Senate investigators singled out five ATF officials Tuesday for blame in the failure of the Fast and Furious gunrunning operation that led to the transfer of more than 2,000 illegally purchased weapons to drug smugglers in Mexico.
ATF field agents working in Mexico broke ranks with their supervisors Tuesday during a rancorous five-hour House committee hearing, saying they were kept in the dark about a controversial undercover operation in which hundreds of guns ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
The Obama administration sought to intimidate witnesses into not testifying to Congress on Tuesday about whether ATF knowingly allowed weapons, including assault rifles, to be "walked" into Mexico, the chairman of a House committee investigating the program said in an interview Monday.
Several top ATF officials will testify Tuesday before a House committee investigating the controversial "Fast and Furious" weapons program and likely will be asked whether they were ordered not to tell Mexican authorities that guns recovered at crime scenes in that country had been illegally purchased in the U.S.
Mark Zaid, an attorney for one of the men, William McMahon, a former deputy assistant director of ATF who oversaw field operations in the West, said his client was fired last week, reportedly on grounds unrelated to Fast and Furious.
He said an email chain attaching the memo also was sent to Mark Chait, assistant director of field operations at ATF headquarters by the afternoon of Feb. 3.