House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced Wednesday that he has issued a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder for Justice Department documents related to the failed “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation.
The subpoena requests all of Holder’s communications on the Fast and Furious operation. It also requests any communications between the White House and DoJ relating to Operation Fast and Furious.
“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” said Rep. Issa in a statement on Wednesday. “The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth.”
The 22-point subpoena also lists 15 other high-ranking Justice Department officials by name, and requests any communications from them on the operation.
On Tuesday, Holder was asked about the imminent subpoena at a news conference to announce the thwarting of the Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. Holder said his the DoJ “will undoubtedly comply with them,” but also said that his agency has already sent “thousands of pages of documents up to the Hill.”
The Department of Justice and the Attorney General have been under fire over the controversial operation, which attempted to investigate weapons traffickers but unintentionally ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators lost thousands of firearms, many of which crossed the border into Mexico.
Firearms linked to the operation were later found to have been involved in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and at least one other incident of violence involving law enforcement.
The Attorney General has called the operation “tragic and completely unacceptable,” but has also fired back by saying Republican rhetoric on the operation has been “irresponsible and inflammatory.”
Issa and other Republicans have also criticized Holder over what they allege are misleading statements to Congress in May 2011. During testimony to Congress at that time, Holder claimed that he had only learned about the controversial operation “over the last few weeks.” However, memos addressed to Holder mention the Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010.
Holder and the DoJ have pushed back strongly on the claim that he misled Congress, writing on Friday that he can’t read every item that is sent to his office. The Attorney General maintains that he did not learn about the controversial tactics used in Fast and Furious until earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Republicans have stepped up their attacks. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) suggested last week that Holder and the DoJ officials involved in Fast and Furious may have been accessories to murder. Several Republicans have also begun calling for Holder’s resignation.
– Article from Politico.