Did attorney general Eric Holder lie to Congress about gun sales to drug cartels?

On the Laura Ingraham show, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson explains the latest about the Obama administration plan to oversee the sale of 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels – some of them extremely dangerous, like the Barrett M82 sniper rifle that can hit targets a MILE away. (H/T Kelly)

Excerpt:

Today, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson was on the Laura Ingraham show to discuss new documents that show Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed about Operation Fast and Furious as early as July 2010, which contradict Holder’s Congressional testimony on May 3 when he said, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

Attkisson revealed that she had been yelled and screamed at by the Justice Department and White House spokesmen for asking about what Holder knew and when he knew it.

1:31 – In between the yelling that I received from Justice Department yesterday, the spokeswoman–who would not put anything in writing, I was asking for her explanation so there would be clarity and no confusion later over what had been said, she wouldn’t put anything in writing–so we talked on the phone and she said things such as the question Holder answered was different than the one he asked. But he phrased it, he said very explicitly, ‘I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.’

6:05 – Laura: So they were literally screaming at you?
Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.”

7:33 – Laura: Do we know the exact number [of guns] that went over to Mexico?
Attkisson: We know more than 2,000 in Fast and Furious and I will soon be reporting on the fact that that is not the only case. 2,000 for that operation according to the agents involved.

8:28 – …It is sort of a drip, drip. And I’m certainly not the one to make the case for DOJ and White House about what I’m doing wrong. They will tell you that I’m the only reporter–as they told me–that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.

How has the Obama Justice decided to handle reporters inquiring about this lethal operation? They have denied access to, lied and yelled at reporters.

Fox News reports that the Republicans are requesting a special counsel to investigate Eric Holder’s connection to the Fast and Furious scandal.

Excerpt:

House Republicans are calling for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General Eric Holder misled Congress during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious, Fox News has learned.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was sending a letter to President Obama on Tuesday arguing that Holder cannot investigate himself, and requesting the president instruct the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.

The question is whether Holder knowingly made false statements of fact under oath during a Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3. At the time, Holder indicated he was not familiar with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives program known as Fast and Furious until about April 2011. 

“I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks,” Holder testified.

The Department of Justice defended Holder in a statement Tuesday.

“The Attorney General’s testimony to both the House and the Senate was consistent and truthful,” it read. “He said in both March and May of this year that he became aware of the questionable tactics employed in the Fast and Furious Operation in early 2011 when ATF agents first raised them publicly, and at the time, he asked the Inspector General’s office to investigate the matter.”

However, newly discovered memos suggest otherwise. For instance, one memo dated July 2010 shows Michael Walther, director of the National Drug Intelligence Center, told Holder that straw buyers in the Fast and Furious operation “are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to the Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”

Other documents also indicate that Holder began receiving weekly briefings on the program from the National Drug Intelligence Center “beginning, at the latest, on July 5, 2010,” Smith wrote.

“These updates mentioned, not only the name of the operation, but also specific details about guns being trafficked to Mexico,” Smith wrote in the letter to Obama. 

“Allegations that senior Justice Department officials may have intentionally misled members of Congress are extremely troubling and must be addressed by an independent and objective special counsel. I urge you to appoint a special counsel who will investigate these allegations as soon as possible,” Smith wrote.

[…]Issa, R-Calif., told Fox News on Tuesday that Holder saying he didn’t understand the question rather than he didn’t know of the program is not a successful defense to perjury.

Even the liberal Los Angeles Times is covering the story. CBS News has been covering the story for a while.

I wonder if some of our Democrat commenters (e.g. – McSpinster) would like to explain to me why it is OK for drug cartels to have .50 caliber sniper rifles, but it’s not OK for law-abiding fathers to defend their families with handguns. Can someone explain why Democrats are OK with murderous drug-smuggling criminals having assault rifles, but not OK with women carrying pistols so that they can feel safe when they go jogging at night? I want to know why the Obama administration indirectly approved the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Is this the scandal that’s going to bring down the Obama administration? At least with Watergate, nobody died.

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