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

Friday, February 10, 2012

Interesting: Charles Grassley now Focusing on Lanny Breuer and Jason Weinstein

Sipsey Street Irregulars wrote about the possibility that House Speaker John Boehner was putting the kibosh on Darrell Issa's investigation of Fast and Furious. According to the site's author - Mike Vanderboegh - sources were telling him that there would essentially be a deal between Issa and Attorney General Eric Holder that would allow both men to save face while not getting to the truth.

That face saving deal allegedly was being endorsed by House Speaker John Boehner and it involves the Justice Department throwing Asst Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer and his deputy, Jason Weinstein under the bus and then allowing the investigation to quietly go away save for some  house cleaning. Though it hasn't been necessarily quantifiable, Boehner's office has undoubtedly been receiving a significant deal of heat over this charge.

In light of the claim that Breuer and Weinstein are the top two guys who will take the fall in an attempt to make the scandal go away, coupled with the pressure Boehner is receiving from the indignant followers who are demanding justice, I found Senator Chuck Grassley's floor statement on February 9th quite interesting. He set his sights on two Justice Department employees specifically. Any guesses as to who they are?

Here's a hint. The title of Grassley's prepared statement is,
"Breuer Violates DoJ Policy in Advocating for Gunwalking"
Via Grassley's Website:
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer proposed letting guns cross the border.

His proposal came at the same time the Department was preparing to send its letter to me denying that ATF ever does the very thing he was proposing. 
In a February 4, 2011 email, the Justice Department attaché in Mexico City wrote to a number of officials at the Justice Department:

“AAG Breuer proposed allowing straw purchasers to cross into Mexico so [the Secretariat of Public Security] can arrest and [the Attorney General of Mexico] can prosecute and convict.  Such coordinated operations between the US and Mexico may send a strong message to arms traffickers.”

So, we've got people here in Washington who say the program doesn't exist. At the same time we've got people talking down in Mexico City of what we're trying to accomplish by the illegal sale of guns.
 Grassley then turned to...... Jason Weinstein
The recipients of this email included Mr. Breuer’s deputy, Jason Weinstein, who was helping to write the Justice Department’s letter to me that they would later withdraw for its inaccuracies.

Mr. Weinstein was sending updates about the draft letter to Mr. Breuer in Mexico.  Yet, during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Breuer downplayed his involvement in reviewing the draft letter.

It is outrageous to me that the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division proposed exactly what his Department was denying to me was happening.
An interesting narrative coming out of the Oversight Committee right now has to do with Issa's team playing hardball with Holder over unsealing the wiretap applications. As that continues, pressure on Boehner would subside because the charge that Boehner is telling Issa to back down is belied by the request to unseal wiretaps.

It's interesting that the recent focus of Grassley seems to be on the same two individuals who Vanderboegh's sources told him would be part of the face saving deal involving Boehner.

To be clear, Breuer and Weinstein are definitely key players in Fast and Furious but they do not represent the high water mark of culpability in this scandal, which is why any potential deal involving their scalps only (save for some lower level ATF employees) should be perceived as a betrayal of justice.

I am not saying that Grassley is doing anything wrong or involved in any hijinks here. It's simply that if Breuer and Weinstein are part of some unjust deal, it's noteworthy that Grassley appears to be focusing on them during  his prepared floor statement.

Here is the video of Grassley's statement (Fast Forward to the 4:15 mark):

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