Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
Not only is DoJ its up to ass in alligators with the ATF and Fast and Furious, now things are catching up to the DEA on laundering drug money. See here. And it’s not just the conservative blogosphere taking note. The NYT is on the case too.
UPDATE–Among the many laws and regulations violated by Operation Fast and Furious were the International Traffic in Arms Regulations overseen by the State Department, but apparently the State Department didn’t really care. DoS has been licensing legal shipments to Mexico knowing full well that substantial quantities of weapons were being diverted to the drug cartels.
Some of the pundocracy is suggesting that AG Holder will be able to dodge the
bullet bus by “getting out in front of” Fast and Furious. (Another hat tip to Ms. Korbe at Hot Air.)
I don’t think so. The number of Congresscritters asking for his resignation keeps growing. More F&F guns show up at crime scenes on both sides of the border each week. The problem isn’t being contained.
I could swear I just heard a diesel engine cranking.
The Daily Caller has a post up about four more Congresscritters calling for AG Holder’s
head resignation. (H/T Shall Not Be Questioned)
The first few pebbles were rolling, and now they’re picking up more stones as the slide continues. How quickly will it grow to an avalanche?
If all the cabinet-level blame can be dumped on Holder, the White House would be wise to get him under the bus and thoroughly run over before the election season get in full swing.
UPDATE–Holder agrees to testify.
UPDATE 2–More at Main Justice.
UPDATE 3–Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, is asking to hear from the former Acting Director of the ATF as well. CBS News has this.
UPDATE 4–The count of Congresscritters asking for Holder to go is up to 17, and the NRA has joined in.
Darrell Issa grilled Sec. Napolitano about the sluggishness of the DHS investigation into the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder with guns tied to Operation Fast and Furious. Politico has details of the testy exchange. Rep. Issa’s main question:
For three months, you had a dead Border Patrol agent and there was no IG investigation. What did you do between December and February to find out about Fast and Furious? … People on the ground knew those were Fast and Furious weapons found at the scene within hours. It wasn’t something that wasn’t known. It was known at the time.
“This committee has to avoid a rush to judgment here,” Napolitano replied. “It seems to me there will be lessons learned from this.”
Meanwhile, another Congresscritter has asked for (no, demanded) AG Holder’s resignation. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) has sent a strongly worded letter to the AG. In addition to asking Eric Holder to take responsibility for Fast and Furious, Rep. Walsh questions the reason for conducting the operation in the first place.
The American people deserve to know if your Department had any intent to link the legal purchase of firearms here in the U.S. to crimes committed near our southern border. Operation Fast and Furious funneled firearms legally purchased at gun shops in the U.S. to known criminal syndicates to prove these syndicates have access to legal purchased weapons. This is a deliberate attempt to vilify and attack the millions of gun owners in America who value our Second Amendment and have never broken the law.
Tina Korbe has more at Hot Air. Rep. Walsh’s letter is here.
Hot Air has the text of the subpoena here. Rep. Issa seems quite thorough.
The subpoena demands documents in unredacted form. During his news conference yesterday, Holder said that he would comply with a subpoena from Congress. In the past, the DoJ has heavily redacted some documents.
CBS News is reporting that Rep. Issa will soon subpoena the DoJ for all communications relating to Operation Fast and Furious and “gunwalking” in general among a dozen or so named DoJ officials.
If the Administration were smart, they would realize that it is time for Holder to fall on his sword. That’s a big if. They botched their handling of the damage control from day one, most recently trying to intimidate the CBS reporter following the story. I suspect that Ed Morrissey is correct when he writes:
Will the Obama administration fight the subpoena? They’d be better advised to rid themselves of the albatross of Eric Holder, but that hasn’t been their style despite a series of blunders and political machinations by the Attorney General. A fight over a legitimate subpoena — especially in a case where one Border Patrol agent has been killed and perhaps hundreds of Mexicans with weapons trafficked by the ATF — will attract plenty of media attention, even without the hamhanded attempt to intimidate Attkisson from reporting on the story. That will overshadow Obama’s jobs push, and perhaps lead to even more disturbing revelations as to just how high this scandal goes. The smart move would be to dump Holder and give the House what it wants, but this administration has been short on smart moves throughout the F&F scandal.
Obama would like to be compared favorably with presidents such as FDR or Kennedy or Reagan. But his staggering incompetence is more in line with Buchanan or Hoover or Carter with a whiff of Nixon as well.
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Since the Attorney General certainly qualifies as a “person in civil … authority,” those who briefed him (but weren’t actively part of the program) on Operation Fast and Furious should be in the clear for reporting what they knew up the food chain. Ed Morrissey sums things up as Holder: You own Fast and Furious, Champ. His post includes extended quotes from Rep. Issa’s response to the AG’s Friday letter. Read the whole thing.
Fast and Furious was not just an ATF operation inside the Department of Justice. In addition to the DoJ agencies such as the FBI and DEA, the State Department, Homeland Security (ICE), and Treasury (IRS CID) are all involved and so, possibly, is the White House. As Bob Owens points out
Likewise, President Obama seems to be in danger if he does choose to appoint a special prosecutor. Evidence to date — including direct communications between the ATF special agent running Operation Fast and Furious and White House staffers — seems to indicate that the White House was well aware of these gunwalking operations. If evidence surfaces that directly implicates President Obama himself, then a failed reelection bid may be the least of his worries.
No wonder the White House staff is more than a bit touchy when asked about the subject. CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who has done major work on this story, claims that a White House staffer has screamed at her.
And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.
If I were with the White House staff and looking at the prospect of dealing with a scandal that rose to the level requiring a special prosecutor, I’d be careful about the way I dealt with CBS. (And WaPo) The current staff might want to review what happened in 1973/74.
Bob Owens has an excellent piece on the main stream media’s apparent complicity with the DoJ’s misdeeds relating to gunrunning to Mexican Drug cartels.
When I was working in broadcasting, we viewed our news operation as a check on the government, as one of the things that helped keep it accountable to the people. It looks as if a bunch of the newsies have changed sides.