Jean Baptiste Kingery was arrested in June of 2010 for supplying grenades to a Mexican drug cartel; he was released within hours according to the Wall Street Journal. Based on very damaging email released by Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa's office last week, the credibility of Asst US Attorney in Phoenix, Emory Hurley, is basically in tatters. That fact makes any argument in defense of him rather hollow. Nonetheless, the US attorney's office are denying that Hurley let the grenade man 'walk.' Those accounts are in direct opposition to ATF agent and whistleblower Peter Forcelli, who testified in front of Issa's committee back in June.
Via the WSJ, the decision to release 'Grenade walker' has become a central focus between those who support Hurley and those who support Forcelli:
That decision is at the crux of a bitter fight between ATF agents and prosecutors at the U.S. attorney's office in Phoenix. The lead ATF agent on the grenades case, Peter Forcelli, "was horrified with the thought of releasing this individual" and "practically begged" senior prosecutor Emory Hurley "for permission to arrest the suspect on a criminal complaint," according to an Aug. 31 letter sent to a congressional committee on Mr. Forcelli's behalf by an attorney with the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a group that provides legal assistance to law enforcement officers.Ah, so the guys caught authorizing a program that let guns 'walk' appear to be using the same explanation for why they let Kingery walk out of jail. As mentioned previously, Hurley's credibility is shot based on THESE E-MAILS. In particular, the letter from Hurley to US Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke (Attachment 5), in which Hurley explained the details of a coverup involving the weapons purchased by Jaime Avila that were later used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Officials from the U.S. attorney's office dispute that Mr. Hurley, who oversaw both Fast and Furious and the Kingery cases, declined to prosecute, according to officials familiar with the accounts provided to investigators. These officials said prosecutors wanted to continue following the case and possibly bring charges at a later date.
Officials from the U.S. attorney's office also have told investigators that the ATF agents freed Mr. Kingery because the agents wanted to make him an informant. Mr. Kingery maintained contact with agents for several weeks, then disappeared, the U.S. officials familiar with the case said.
Based on the Hurley vs. Forcelli narrative, the latter picks up even more credibility when both sides point to e-mails to back up their claims:
Mr. Forcelli is among ATF agents who provided testimony earlier this year about missteps in the Fast and Furious operation. The officers association's letter alleges that he is the victim of "whistleblower retaliation" because of that testimony.Based on Forcelli's testimony vs. that of ATF and DOJ leadership's stonewalling and mounting evidence against the latter, it's looking like the same political leaders and appointees who let guns walk also let a grenade walker, walk.
A key point of contention is whether Mr. Forcelli and his team got proper clearance for the operation that led to the botched sting in February 2010. In October 2009, a prosecutor in the Kingery case told ATF agents that "We cannot approve [allowing] the illegal export to be accomplished," according to an email read to The Wall Street Journal. Prosecutors and Justice Department officials have cited the email to investigators to contend that the ATF agents failed to get clearance.
But the ATF agents disagree and cite a January 2010 email exchange that appears to show high-level approval. The latter email described the operation in detail, including a plan to let Mexican authorities track the suspect in hopes of finding a grenade-manufacturing facility in Mexico.
Mr. Burke, then the U.S. attorney in Arizona, is among the officials in the email exchange and responds to the summary of tactics: "Agree [with] the course of action as the variables play out." The email exchange was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Here is an interview between Agent Forcelli and Greta van Susteren on June 15th, just hours after Forcelli had testified in front of the Oversight Committee:
h/t Sipsey Street