Via CBS News:
Congressional investigators tell CBS News there's evidence the U.S. Attorney's office in Arizona sought to cover up a link between their controversial gunwalking operation known as "Fast and Furious" and the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.What's the evidence? Well a series of e-mails and a memorandum that prove it.
Terry was murdered in Arizona near the US border last December. Two assault rifles ATF had allegedly allowed onto the street without interdiction were found at the scene.
But the US Attorney's office working both the Terry murder and the "Fast and Furious" operation did not immediately disclose the two had any link. Two Republicans investigating the scandal, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) say there's evidence that officials at ATF and the US Attorney's office sought to hide the connection.
To set this up a bit, Border Agent Terry was shot and killed in Nogales, AZ in the early morning hours of December 15, 2010. As early as December 16th, it was brought to the attention of both Newell and Voth that the two guns recovered at the scene were from Fast and Furious.
An e-mail dated December 16th that was sent to Voth and then forwarded to Newell said the following:
The two firearms recovered by ATF this afternoon near Rio Rico, Arizona, in conjunction with the shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Terry were identified as 'Suspect Guns' in the Fast and Furious investigation...It's also important to understand that the man responsible for purchasing these guns - Jaime Avila - was apprehended shortly after Terry's death. The weapons in question were purchased on January 16th, 2010. That purchase date is very relevant to the cover-up.
Avila had made multiple gun purchases but another e-mail points to a conscious decision on the part of ATF leadership not to charge him with the January 16th purchase but instead to charge him a purchase made in June of 2010. Check out this incredibly damning e-mail from David Voth to, among others, William Newell:
We are charging Avila with a standalone June 2010 firearms purchase where he used a bad (old) address on the 4473. [924(a)(1)(A) - False records required to be kept by dealer.] This way we do not divulge our current case (Fast & Furious) or the Border Patrol shooting case.That right there is a smoking gun. False records required to be kept by dealer so as not to divulge the truth about what guns killed Terry? In effect, Avila would be charged not with purchasing guns that killed a Border agent but with giving a gun dealer a false address during a completely separate purchase. Newell's response to this e-mail was, 'Great job.' Again, Newell and Voth have recently been promoted.
There's more. In a December 16, 2010 e-mail from Voth to Newell, Voth reports that the decision not to charge Avila with the January 16, 2010 purchase of the guns found at Terry's murder scene but instead to charge him with purchase made in June:
After speaking with Emory (Hurley) he saw the wisdom in not charging the AK-47 rifles in question so as to not complicate the FBI's investigation. As such we are back to our original plan to charge the June guns purchased by Jaime AVILA.Hurley, at the time Asst US Attorney in Phoenix, has recently been reassigned as well (not fired).
Then, in a letter dated January 28, 2011 from Hurley to then US Attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke, it was obvious that the US Attorneys office was on board with the decision to avoid Avila's January 16, 2010 purchases in connection with Terry's murder. The letter begins thusly:
The two AK-47 type rifles associated with the U.S. Border Patrol shooting, specifically two ROMARM WASR-10 7.62x39 mm rifles… were purchased by Jaime Avila, Jr. (AVILA) on Friday, January 16, 2010...Hurley's letter ends with information that supports the previous e-mails; Avila was being charged with giving a gun store owner a fake address, not with the purchase of guns involved in Brian Terry's murder.
Again, Newell and Voth have not been terminated. They have been promoted at worst, given a lateral position at best. This new information implicates both Holder and Obama. Burke is the one in a really tight spot because the letter to him from Hurley clearly demonstrates that Burke was involved. He will likely have to talk to congressional investigators very soon. The last time he did so, the session was cut short because Burke allegedly became physically ill.
Issa and Grassley sent a stinging letter to Burke's replacement, Ann Birmingham Scheel. You can READ IT HERE.
Just a suggestion but someone should probably put Burke on a suicide watch.
h/t Sipsey Street