Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Is Holder's DOJ Compromising Fast and Furious Investigation?

It appears that Eric Holder has a brand new problem on his hands; Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary ranking member Charles Grassley have learned that there is a shared hard drive over at DOJ that contains emails and other documents for potential witnesses in Issa's investigation to review. Quite obviously, the reason is most likely to make sure that all of these witnesses are reading from the same playbook and don't contradict one another.

Remember, all along, Holder's excuse for not complying with subpoenas from Issa's committee has been that the DOJ's Office of Inspector General (OIG) is conducting its own investigation. If it comes out that the OIG is aware of this 'shared drive,' we have an entirely new problem.

Anyway, here is a portion of the letter from Issa and Grassley to Holder I found in my inbox yesterday:
Dear Attorney General Holder:

We have recently learned that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has afforded potential witnesses for the COmmittees' investigation into Operation Fast and Furious to a shared drive on its computer system replete with pertinent investigative documents, including official ATF e-mails. Although, our staff has been advised the Department has since terminated access to this document cache, we write to seek additional information relating to this egregious decision. We also ask that you promptly self-report this matter to the Office of Instpector General (OIG).

As we understand it, the shared drive contains the documents that have been produced to the Committees through the course of our investigation, those made available for in camera review and possibly documents that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not yet provided to the Committee. These witnesses had not previously seen many of these documents.

Allowing witnesses access to such documents could taint their testimony by allowing them to tailor their responses to what they think the Committees already know. Additionally, witnesses who gain access to documents they have not previously seen could alter their recollection of events. This practice harms no only our investigation, but also the independent investigation that you instructed the Inspector General to conduct.
Clearly, these references to the OIG have a double meaning and seem to implicate the internal investigators in either incompetence or complicity. If the OIG is conducting an honest investigation and have more access to what's going on, how do Issa and Grassley know about this hard drive and the OIG doesn't?


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