REPORT: OFFICIALS ERRED ON ‘FAST & FURIOUS’ BUT HOLDER HAD NO EARLY KNOWLEDGE
TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE
WASHINGTON - A report from the Justice Department’s inspector general hit the department over its handling of the ATF gunwalking operation known as “Fast and Furious,” but states that there is no evidence that Attorney General Eric Holder had early knowledge of the procedure.
The operation, which ran from 2009 through 2011, allowed the ATF to covertly supply firearms to associates of the Mexican drug cartels in order to track their use.
The report stated that senior leaders in both the ATF and the Justice Department failed to properly examine the operation’s questionable techniques, even shortly after weapons tied to the program were found at a border patrol agent’s murder scene.
In all, 14 Justice Department and ATF personnel are recommended for internal discipline. Shortly after the reports’ release, two have stepped down: former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein.
The report found that Melson had failed to recognize a blaring need for enforcement over how the operation was carried out and that he had failed to notify his superiors on multiple occasions.
Weinstein, the report found, had “advocated for ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office rather than responsibly gathering information about their conduct of the Fast and Furious investigation.”
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