Congressman Darrell Issa, California Republican and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, released the following statement in regards to the Fast and Furious report issued by the Justice Department’s Inspector General on Wednesday:
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, issued the following statement on Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s findings of widespread failures by both senior DOJ and ATF leaders in both Operation Fast and Furious and the Department of Justice’s false denials of reckless conduct to Congress. Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have led the Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious following Justice Department denials of reckless conduct that were later retracted. Guns from the reckless program contributed to the deaths of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and an unknown number of Mexican citizens. It also created an ongoing public safety hazard on both sides of the border.
“The Inspector General’s report confirms findings by Congress’ investigation of a near total disregard for public safety in Operation Fast and Furious. Contrary to the denials of the Attorney General and his political defenders in Congress, the investigation found that information in wiretap applications approved by senior Justice Department officials in Washington did contain red flags showing reckless tactics and faults Attorney General Eric Holder’s inner circle for their conduct.
“Former Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer who heads the Criminal Division, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, and Holder’s own Deputy Chief of Staff Monty Wilkinson are all singled out for criticism in the report. It’s time for President Obama to step in and provide accountability for officials at both the Department of Justice and ATF who failed to do their jobs. Attorney General Holder has clearly known about these unacceptable failures yet has failed to take appropriate action for over a year and a half.”
The Inspector General has indicated he will continue his investigation of matters related to Operation Fast and Furious, including retaliation against whistleblowers and an effort to have the Justice Department unseal wiretap applications sealed by courts that were approved by senior officials. The Congressional investigation will also continue to seek documents wrongfully withheld from Congress.
Inspector General Horowitz will testify on the findings of his investigation before the Oversight Committee tomorrow at 9:30 AM in 2157 Rayburn House Office building. The webcast of the hearing can be found here once the hearing begins.
The IG report’s conclusions fully support and expand the earlier findings by Congressional investigators of failures throughout the Department of Justice and ATF:
July 31, 2012 – Fast and Furious: The Anatomy of a Failed Operation, Part I of III
June 22, 2012 – Resolution Recommending the US House of Representatives Find AG Holder in Contempt of Congress
May 3, 2012 – MEMO: Oversight Committee Update on Fast & Furious