The latest from The Hill describes the new Fast and Furious e-mails released on Friday.
The fierce battle over a botched gun-tracking operation is intensifying and has put Attorney General Eric Holder on a collision course with his critics in Congress.
Republicans are calling for his resignation in the wake of Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives operation that may have inadvertently contributed to the death of at least one federal agent.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has called for an independent investigation of Holder, and the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wants to have Holder testify again before Congress.
[…]The torrent of scrutiny comes after a series of internal Justice Department memos were released this week and show that Holder was informed about the existence of Operation Fast and Furious last year.
Holder testified in May before the House Judiciary Committee that he did not learn about the operation until earlier this year. Officials with the DOJ say Holder was referring to when he learned about the controversial tactics, known as “walking” guns into the hands of known and suspected criminals, that were employed by the operation.
[…]”The Attorney General’s denials of any personal knowledge will have to be tested against all the evidence as the investigation continues, just as the Department’s initial denials were,” Beth Levine, a Grassley spokeswoman, said.
The article also has a nice timeline of events in case you are new to the story.
Arizona sheriffs urge Obama to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the gun-smuggling scandal.
A majority of Arizona’s county sheriffs on Friday called upon President Obama to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the government’s botched gun-smuggling case known as Operation Fast and Furious.
At a Phoenix news conference, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the sting operation, which allowed an estimated 2,000 firearms to reach narcotics cartels in Mexico, was a betrayal that should lead to the removal of Attorney General Eric Holder and possible criminal charges against those responsible.
“I believe that this is a much larger scandal than what took place in Watergate,” said Babeu, who is president of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association.
[…]ATF whistleblowers first exposed the practice after U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a December shootout with banditos near Nogales, Ariz., involving a pair of semi-automatic rifles that traced back to Operation Fast and Furious. Their revelations led to congressional hearings in which agents and Justice Department officials have been criticized for evasive and dishonest testimony.
To date, the scandal has forced the replacement of ATF administrator Ken Melson; reassignment of the bureau’s top Arizona agent, William Newell; and the resignation of Dennis Burke, former U.S. Attorney for Arizona.
[…]Ten of Arizona’s 15 sheriffs joined in the call for an independent counsel probe. The sheriffs, including Democrats and Republicans, said they were motivated by public-safety concerns, not political partisanship.
“I feel like we’ve been betrayed by our government,” said Tom Sheahan, sheriff of Mohave County.
“We’re in a fight for our country, our constitution and for our very lives,” added Larry Dever, sheriff of Cochise County. “Who really is responsible for helping to arm the people we are fighting every day on the border?”
My prediction? Holder resigns before the end of October. I would like to see Obama put on the stand to testify as well on this issue and on Solyndra. It would nice if Holder and Spinner were both in jail before election day 2012. Like in real jail cells.
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