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

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WOW! Former US Attorney in Arizona Admits to Smearing ATF Whistleblower

Former US Attorney in Arizona, Dennis Burke, resigned several months ago and has been cooperating with congressional investigators. Unlike former ATF Director Kenneth Melson and SAC in Phoenix William Newell, Burke was apparently unable to fly under the radar with a reassignment; he was essentially sent packing. It appears he has dropped a bit of a bombshell by admitting that he was responsible for leaking a memo that was intended to smear ATF agent / whistleblower John Dodson.

Via Daily Caller:
Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August, admitted late Tuesday that he leaked a document aimed at smearing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson, an Operation Fast and Furious whistle-blower.

“Dennis regrets his role in disclosing the memo but he’s a stand-up guy and is willing to take responsibility for what he did,” Chuck Rosenberg, Burke’s lawyer, said according to NPR. “It was absolutely not Dennis’s intent to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson or anyone else for the information they provided Congress.”

Rosenberg claims Burke is cooperating with congressional investigators.

The memo that leaked this summer ended up being an attempt by Justice Department officials to cast aspersions on Dodson — one of the leading ATF Fast and Furious whistle-blowers. Burke admitted he leaked the memo in a Tuesday afternoon letter to Justice Department Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar.

The memo was leaked to press and had the names of criminal suspects deleted — but kept Dodson’s name on it. Attorney General Eric Holder came under fire during Tuesday morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when he wouldn’t answer any questions from Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley about the leaked memo, who was held accountable for it and how they were held accountable.

It’s unclear if Burke was the only DOJ official who leaked documents to smear whistle-blowers, but Dodson thinks Burke “did not act alone.”
This is very significant and it was addressed by Grassley to Holder in the November 8th Senate Judiciary committee hearing. In fact, it seemed to elicit Attorney General Eric Holder's most indignant reaction of the day. Fast forward to the 5:30 mark to see the portion of the hearing that may have prompted Dennis Burke to come forward. Holder's reaction is very telling; he did NOT want this coming up. Perhaps Burke's coming forward later that day goes a long way toward explaining why. Also take note when Holder throws his hands up.

Kudos to Grassley...

Has the Credibility of Herman Cain's Campaign Manager gone up in Smoke?

Regardless of where you come down on the Herman Cain sexual harassment controversy, his campaign manager Mark Block has had far too many Double U Tee F moments to keep his job. First, the ad that finishes with him taking a drag from a cigarette. It was bizarre but he got a pass because it actually increased campaign contributions after going viral. Then, after the accusations about Cain came out, Block accused the Perry campaign of being responsible with no hard evidence and it did come back to bite him a bit. Now this.

While appearing on Hannity's television show, Mark Block said he confirmed that the son of one of Cain's accusers works for POLITICO. It turns out that Block appears to be wrong again. Hate to say it but Block seems to be in way over his head here. If Karen Kraushaar's son doesn't work at POLITICO, Cain's campaign could be toast. At the very least, Block should be fired.

What's worse is that it had already been confirmed that Kraushaar works in the Obama administration. If it turns out that Block decided to leapfrog over that red flag to make a charge that is proven to be false, his job as campaign manager should go up in smoke.

Here is the POLITICO story debunking Block's charge that Kraushaar's son works there.

h/t Hapblog

Videos: Takeaways from Eric Holder Testimony in front of Senate Judiciary

At yesterday's Senate Judiciary committee hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder faced questions about Fast and Furious but not exclusively on that operation. There are several noteworthy exchanges but there are many more that are not worth revisiting. In short, all of the exchanges between Holder and Chuck Grassley / Holder and John Cornyn are worth watching. Early on, Holder took exception to Grassley bringing up the details of an alleged private conversation between the two in which Holder told the Senator that someone had been held accountable for a letter that contained false statements.

Grassley does well here:

Senator John Cornyn had two cracks at Holder and did well both times. At one point, Cornyn asked Holder if the latter had apologized to the Brian Terry family. Holder said he hadn't. Cornyn followed up by asking Holder if he'd like to take the opportunity in the hearing to apologize; Holder refused. Here Cornyn's first exchange with Holder, which is very good:

Toward the end of the hearing, Cornyn had the opportunity to grill Holder again; he did not disappoint. In this exchange, Cornyn asks if Holder knows the distinction between Fast and Furious and an operation carried out under the Bush administration known as Wide Receiver. When Holder basically pleads ignorance, Cornyn asks him if he's 'winging it.'

There was one very interesting exchange between Holder and Democrat chairman Patrick Leahy (VT). In an attempt to give Holder the opportunity to clear up his testimony on May 3rd, in which the latter said he'd only heard about Fast and Furious 'over the last few weeks,' Leahy didn't do Holder any favors. Holder's attempt to clarify that there is no real difference between a few weeks and a couple months fell flat. Here is that exchange:

Via Michelle Malkin:

The other Republican who had an opportunity to grill Holder was Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Though he raised some valid questions, he seemed to get mired in legalese and ended up doing most of the talking. Grassley and Cornyn did a better job of making Holder answer several questions in the limited time they had available.

Here is the full hearing for those who have nothing but time on their hands. Note, even if you qualify, you will want to fast forward through most of it. It was disappointing to see Senators Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham choose to confront Holder on completely different issues. Their inability or unwillingness to jump into the Fast and Furious fray seemed out of place. You also might want to check out Chuck Schumer's exchange with Holder if your blood pressure is too low. It is quintessential partisanship as Schumer focuses on Operation Wide Receiver under the Bush administration and calls for the Senate Judiciary committee to investigate that while the House Oversight committee continues to attempt to uncover the truth about Fast and Furious.

To that, I say Mr. Schumer should be careful what he asks for. What he finds may end up being more damaging to the Obama Justice Department than he thinks. Fast forward to the 1:10:34 mark for that one.

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