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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

DOJ Throws Three to the Wolves in Fast and Furious Scandal

ATF Director Kenneth Melson may not have been thrown completely under the bus but he has given up his cushy seat for the storage compartment below. The thinking is likely that by demoting him, they will be able to keep him quiet while appearing to punish him for his involvement. Melson, if you remember, went against DOJ's wishes when he and his personal attorneys met with Oversight Committee investigators on July 4th. US Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke has resigned, making his case particularly interesting. Other than threats of bodily harm and similar types of intimidation, he really has nothing preventing him from spilling more beans. Asst US Attorney in Phoenix, Emory Hurley, has been re-assigned and is sharing the storage compartment with Melson.

Burke's situation seems to be the most intriguing because if he continues to cooperate with Issa and Grassley, he's more likely than Melson or Hurley to give the unvarnished truth. Interestingly, Burke has already spoken with congressional investigators and the session got cut short because he got physically ill.

Via Fox Nation:
Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona was also pushed out Tuesday as fallout from Operation Fast and Furious reached new heights.

Melson's step down from his role as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to the position of senior adviser on forensic science in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Programs is effective by close of business Tuesday, administration officials announced. U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones will replace Melson.

U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, one of the officials closely tied to Fast and Furious, is also a casualty in a shakeup tied to the botched gun-running program. Burke was on the hot seat last week with congressional investigators and, according to several sources, got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.
I would love to know if Burke's weak stomach had anything to do with him going completely under the bus instead of meeting up with Melson and Hurley above the wheels below.

This shake-up has all the earmarks of the DOJ offering three players in the scandal to Issa and Grassley as sacrificial lambs. Not only is it unlikely to work, it may have made things worse for Attorney General Holder and this administration. That said, it may have been the best of several bad options for the Justice Department. While appearing on Greta, Issa was visibly disturbed by this latest trick by Holder's DOJ, saying he knows he is 'being gamed' by the DOJ.

Via Hapblog:

Statement from Issa's office that showed up in my in-box:
Issa Statement on Resignation of Arizona U.S. Attorney, Reassignment of ATF Director

(WASHINGTON) House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today released the following statement regarding Department of Justice personnel changes involving Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley:

“While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department. There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels. I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melson’s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again.”
Looks like if Holder & Company were hoping for some heat to be taken off with these latest moves, they were sadly mistaken.

Here's another video report from Fox News about the resignations, h/t Sipsey Street:

No comments:

Accuracy in Media
American Spectator
American Thinker
Big Government
Big Journalism
Doug Ross
Flopping Aces
Fox Nation
Fox News
Free Republic
The Hill
Hope for America
Hot Air
Hot Air Pundit
Jawa Report
Jihad Watch
Michelle Malkin
Naked Emperor News
National Review
New Zeal Blog
News Real
Pajamas Media
Red State
Right Wing News
Say Anything
Stop Islamization of America
Verum Serum
Wall Street Journal
Washington Times
Watts Up With That
Web Today
Weekly Standard
World Net Daily

Blog Archive