On Wednesday, the inspector general for the Justice Department issued his report on Operation Fast & Furious. That’s the gun walking operation that sent thousands of guns into the possession of Mexican drug cartels. Those guns were later shown to be used in the murders of hundreds of Mexicans and in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The report placed blame with several different figures within the Justice Department, but frequently stated that critical information never made it to the desk of Attorney General. In June, Holder was held in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives for failing to cooperate with the GOP-led investigation into Fast and Furious. Holder’s defenders claim the report essentially clears him of wrongdoing, but his critics strongly disagree.
Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold is a member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, which conducted the Congressional investigation on this issue. Farenthold says Holder should have known what was happening during such a program and being unaware of the facts is not much of a defense.
Farenthold also takes us inside two of his questions for the inspector general – namely whether the Obama administration was justified in invoking executive privilege to withhold documents from the House committee. Farenthold says if we’re to believe neither Obama nor Holder even knew about Fast & Furious, then what communications could exist between them on this crisis? He also wants to know what political considerations are behind what the congressman sees as two years of stonewalling from the administration.
Farenthold also updates the committee’s work on Fast & Furious, noting that only one of three reports has been issued. The next report will deal with management of Fast & Furious by the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He says the final report will focus on the alleged cover-up by the administration.