Entries in Darrell Issa (2)


House Report Cites Five Former ATF Officials in Fast and Furious Operation

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House and Senate must improve the leadership of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to a draft report that was critical of the government's botched "Operation Fast and Furious" that resulted in hundreds of guns falling into criminal hands.

The report, prepared by California Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, cited five one-time ATF officials in particular for instituting the gun-tracking operation and then failing to stop it after things went wrong.

Those named were former Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division William Newell, former Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon, former Assistant Director for Field Operations Mark Chait, the former Deputy Director William Hoover, and former acting ATF director Kenneth Melson.

The ATF first allowed up to 2,000 firearms to cross the border into Mexico in order to find violent criminals involved in gun trafficking and drug cartels.  However, many of those weapons were misplaced and two turned up at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

The Justice Department initially denied knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious and then admitted it was aware of the program.  Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before numerous congressional committees to testify about what he knew and is currently being held in contempt by the House for not turning over documents requested by Issa.

Two other reports from congressional Republicans are due that will allege further missteps by the Justice Department's criminal division and the office of the attorney general.  Holder and members of the Obama administration have called the probes a "witch-hunt."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


No Fast and Furious Cover-Up, Obama Aide Claims

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Asked about the President’s assertion of executive privilege in the Congressional investigation of the Fast and Furious matter, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney quickly jumped on what committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Fox News over the weekend: that “there is no evidence, let me repeat no evidence, of White House involvement in any cover up or attempt to cover up this issue,” Carney said.

Critics of the administration have summarized the furor over the now "frozen" material by asking if the administration has nothing to hide, why did President Obama use executive privilege to lock down the documents Issa requested?

Carney, speaking to reporters on board Air Force One, repeated that the Department of Justice and the attorney general have provided an enormous number of documents to the committee investigating the Fast and Furious program and that the attorney general has testified repeatedly about this matter -- though the Department of Justice decided to withdraw some of the documents entered as testimony as innacurate. The program involved shipping guns over the border to Mexico to drug dealers but the government quickly lost track of the guns. The weapons have beeen linked to the deaths of an unknown number of Mexicans, and U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry.

Carney insisted the material being kept from Issa have nothing to do with the growing scandal. “All of the documents under executive privilege are after the Feb 4th date where -- beyond which these documents are simply kind of internal deliberative documents that every administration should be able to keep private,” Carney said, adding that the administration remains ready to try to resolve this issue in a way that is satisfactory to both sides.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio