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Thursday, June 23, 2011

DOJ / Washington Post Argue that Issa Knew about Fast and Furious long before Holder did

In an apparent attempt by the Washington Post to run interference for the Department of Justice, the narrative in a story by Jerry Markon and Sari Horwitz provides the perfect example of what happens when you continue to change your story. In this case, the Post attempts to defend the DOJ by going after Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa. The new argument - apparently according to an anonymous DOJ source - is that the DOJ is innocent of any wrongdoing because of a briefing Issa attended in April 2010, at which Issa, the Post alleges, raised no objections.

Via WaPo:
A chief Republican critic of a controversial U.S. anti-gun-trafficking operation was briefed on ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program last year and did not express any opposition, sources familiar with the classified briefing said Tuesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), who has repeatedly called for top Justice Department officials to be held accountable for the now-defunct operation, was given highly specific information about it at an April 2010 briefing, the sources said. Members of his staff also attended the session, which Issa and two other Republican congressmen had requested.
The Daily Caller spoke with Issa spokesman Fredrick Hill, who basically rejects the Post's versions out of hand:
Hill said there was a briefing that Issa attended back in April 2010 on a similar subject. “There were questions at the time about the number of U.S. weapons that were ending up at Mexican crime scenes,” he said. “Basically, [it was about] the efforts of the ATF to stop cartels from doing this.”

Did Project Gunrunner or Operation Fast and Furious come up at that briefing at all? Hill says “they certainly did not.”
Further bolstering Hill's account is the fact that none other than Attorney General himself, Eric Holder, testified under oath on May 3rd that he 'first heard about Fast and Furious over the last few weeks.' Think about that one. By implication, the DOJ - via the Washington Post - is claiming that Darrell Issa knew about Fast and Furious long before Holder did.

Here is the exchange between Issa and Holder on May 3rd. Issa asks Holder when he first learned of the operation at about the 1:15 mark.

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