Holder's Fast and Furious Coming Undone

M. Catharine Evans

November 15 proved another pivotal day in the gunwalking scandal known as Fast and Furious.

Highlights:

*Tim Stellar of the Arizona Daily Star reported "The case against the alleged killers of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has disappeared from federal court records, apparently sealed by a federal judge." Stellar states after a May indictment against Manuel Osorio-Arellanos, charged with second-degree murder but not believed to be the shooter, records went missing and "nobody's talking."

Asked about the case, Debra Hartman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, said via email: "Yes, our office is handling the case and can't comment further."

*A group of House Republicans called a Capitol Hill press conference demanding Attorney General Eric Holder's immediate resignation. Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) challenged Holder to "tell us what you knew, tell us who else knew, do the right thing and take responsibility for the actions you authorized." Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) insisted Holder needs to go, "As our nation's top enforcer of the principles of law and justice, Mr. Holder has now lost credibility and should step down immediately."

*Eric Holder's old friend Kevin Ohlson who worked as his chief of staff under President Clinton in 1997 and from January 2009 to January, 2011 was nominated by President Barack Obama in September to a key post on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

In anticipation of Thursday's confirmation hearing, John McCain the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent Ohlsen a November 10 questionnaire regarding his involvement in Fast and Furious.

Media reports have indicated that internal Department of Justice emails showed that Attorney General Holder was provided with information about the Operation as early as July, 2010. As Attorney General Holder's Chief of Staff and Counselor, when did you personally learn of the existence of the Operation and what was the extent of your knowledge in December, 2010? Do you believe your transfer in January,2011 was in any way related to the Operation of the slaying of  Agent Brian Terry? If  so, why?

Fox News reported on Tuesday Ohlsen denies any knowledge of or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.

During my tenure as chief of staff and counselor to the attorney general, I took no actions in regard to, had no knowledge of, provided no advice about, and had no involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.

*The Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle reported the Department of Justice strategically withheld documents relating to earlier inquiries from Congressman Darrell Issa's office about Bush era programs like Operation Wide Receiver. The DOJ waited and released the information to hand-picked news outlets the night before Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Breuer neatly lumped together Operation Fast and Furious with Operation Wide Receiver in a PR ploy.

Emails between senior Justice Department officials and investigators in the office of Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley show that congressional staffers leading the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious requested information about Operation Wide Receiver -- a Bush administration program - and other similar cases, more than a full month before the DOJ leaked information to selected media outlets on October 31.

That Halloween document dump from the DOJ seemed calculated to depict Grassley's investigation as partisan in nature.

Holder is scheduled to testify again in front of Issa's House Judiciary Committee on December 8. Meanwhile, Brian Terry's parents have hired attorneys and are considering filing a wrongful death suit against the U.S. government. The Fast and Furious scandal is not going away. Clearly, the 'see no evil hear no evil' strategy coming from top government officials will only work for so long.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report

 

November 15 proved another pivotal day in the gunwalking scandal known as Fast and Furious.

Highlights:

*Tim Stellar of the Arizona Daily Star reported "The case against the alleged killers of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has disappeared from federal court records, apparently sealed by a federal judge." Stellar states after a May indictment against Manuel Osorio-Arellanos, charged with second-degree murder but not believed to be the shooter, records went missing and "nobody's talking."

Asked about the case, Debra Hartman, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego, which is prosecuting the case, said via email: "Yes, our office is handling the case and can't comment further."

*A group of House Republicans called a Capitol Hill press conference demanding Attorney General Eric Holder's immediate resignation. Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) challenged Holder to "tell us what you knew, tell us who else knew, do the right thing and take responsibility for the actions you authorized." Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) insisted Holder needs to go, "As our nation's top enforcer of the principles of law and justice, Mr. Holder has now lost credibility and should step down immediately."

*Eric Holder's old friend Kevin Ohlson who worked as his chief of staff under President Clinton in 1997 and from January 2009 to January, 2011 was nominated by President Barack Obama in September to a key post on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

In anticipation of Thursday's confirmation hearing, John McCain the ranking Republican member of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent Ohlsen a November 10 questionnaire regarding his involvement in Fast and Furious.

Media reports have indicated that internal Department of Justice emails showed that Attorney General Holder was provided with information about the Operation as early as July, 2010. As Attorney General Holder's Chief of Staff and Counselor, when did you personally learn of the existence of the Operation and what was the extent of your knowledge in December, 2010? Do you believe your transfer in January,2011 was in any way related to the Operation of the slaying of  Agent Brian Terry? If  so, why?

Fox News reported on Tuesday Ohlsen denies any knowledge of or involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.

During my tenure as chief of staff and counselor to the attorney general, I took no actions in regard to, had no knowledge of, provided no advice about, and had no involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.

*The Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle reported the Department of Justice strategically withheld documents relating to earlier inquiries from Congressman Darrell Issa's office about Bush era programs like Operation Wide Receiver. The DOJ waited and released the information to hand-picked news outlets the night before Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Breuer neatly lumped together Operation Fast and Furious with Operation Wide Receiver in a PR ploy.

Emails between senior Justice Department officials and investigators in the office of Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley show that congressional staffers leading the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious requested information about Operation Wide Receiver -- a Bush administration program - and other similar cases, more than a full month before the DOJ leaked information to selected media outlets on October 31.

That Halloween document dump from the DOJ seemed calculated to depict Grassley's investigation as partisan in nature.

Holder is scheduled to testify again in front of Issa's House Judiciary Committee on December 8. Meanwhile, Brian Terry's parents have hired attorneys and are considering filing a wrongful death suit against the U.S. government. The Fast and Furious scandal is not going away. Clearly, the 'see no evil hear no evil' strategy coming from top government officials will only work for so long.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report