Gunrunner: A second document shows the DOJ may be involved in a cover up regarding Fast and Furious
I updated my last post on the Fast and Furious scandal with news that newly released documents might show that the ATF was involved in trying to cover up the deadly scandal. This is what I added to that post:
UPDATE: Newly released documents also show the ATF was involved in a coverup before the Oversight Committee even began questioning the deadly operation; issuing talking points on how to “answer” questions about Brian Terry’s death and threatening retaliation against possible whistleblowers, promising to “take them down.”
And now according to this story it appears as if Charles Grassley is in possession of a second document which just might prove the ATF and the Department of Injustice have been involved in a cover up since this scandal first came to light:
In a letter Tuesday, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley pressed Attorney General Eric Holder for details about a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives memorandum that indicates his Department of Justice may have tried to cover up the gunwalking tactics that were at the heart of Operation Fast and Furious.
Gary Styers, an ATF special agent in the Lubbock, Texas field office, wrote what Grassley described as a “Fast and Furious memorandum” on Feb. 3, 2011. In it, Styers described how two investigators for Grassley’s Senate Judiciary Committee office had contacted him the day before about the Fast and Furious operation.
The memo described a specific operation in which guns were allowed to walk across the Mexican border. Grassley told Holder that “according to ATF personnel, the memorandum was discussed by high level ATF personnel and possibly forwarded to DOJ headquarters on February 3, 2011.
The date of February 3rd is the critical information in the above quote because it was one day later, on February 4th, that Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich sent Charles Grassley a letter which stated the federal government did not allow any guns to walk into Mexico. That letter was eventually withdrawn from the record because it contained inaccuracies.
The official story for withdrawing and replacing this letter was the claim that some earlier, inaccurate information was accidentally inserted into the letter before anyone realized the mistake, but this new document seems to cast doubt on the official excuse because the ATF was actively talking about gunrunning the day before the letter was sent to Charles Grassley. It seems highly unlikely that the ATF could have been talking about gunrunning the day before the agency sent a letter to Charles Grassley denying any knowledge of gunrunning and could have allowed this letter to move forward unless there was intent to cover up the story from the very beginning.
Charles Grassley has the same question as I do about this new revelation:
The possibility that DOJ was aware of this memorandum [the Styers memo] on February 3, 2011, and still sent the erroneous letter to Congress on February 4, 2011, raises more questions about DOJ’s claim that faulty information from department components inadvertently led to the false letter,” Grassley wrote to Holder.
“This was direct, documented information from street level agents in a far better position to know the facts than the senior supervisory personnel whom DOJ claims to have relied upon for information about the allegations.”
Charles Grassley is now asking Eric Holder to release the names of every person who knew about the February 3rd memorandum because it is becoming more and more obvious that not only is the Department of Injustice stonewalling the investigation but the department is also actively involved in trying to cover up who knew what and when they knew it.