Skip to comments.ATF leaderís email could be Fast and Furious smoking gun and Holder admitted Obama canít shield it
Posted on 06/26/2012 6:14:06 AM PDT by Qbert
A single internal Department of Justice email could be the smoking-gun document in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal if it turns out to contain what congressional investigators have said it does.
The document would establish that wiretap application documents show senior DOJ officials knew about and approved the gunwalking tactic in Fast and Furious. This is the opposite of what Attorney General Eric Holder and House oversight committee ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings have claimed.
It appears that email would also prove senior DOJ officials, likely including Holder himself, knew in March 2011 that a Feb. 4, 2011 letter from the DOJ to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley falsely denied guns were permitted to walk into Mexico. The DOJ allowed that false letter to stand for nine more months, only withdrawing it in December 2011.
During the June 24 broadcast of Fox News Sunday, House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa cited the email as a good example of a specific document his committee knows Holder is hiding from Congress.
The ATF director, Kenneth Melson, sent an e-mail. And he had said to us in sworn testimony that, in fact, he had concerns, Issa said. And we want to see that e-mail because thats an example where he was saying, if we believe his sworn testimony, that guns walked. And he said it shortly after February 4, and [on] July 4. When he told us that, we began asking for that document.
But the details of it surfaced first when Grassley mentioned it for the first time publicly during a June 12 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where Holder was testifying.
He [Melson] immediately sent an email warning others, back off the letter to Sen. Grassley in light of the information in the affidavits, Grassley explained.
Ken Melson, now the former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, purportedly sent that email to several DOJ leaders in March 2011. According to Grassley, Melson wrote that he had reviewed the wiretap applications the same documents Cummings and Holder claim do not show senior DOJ officials knew of or approved gunwalking tactics in Fast and Furious.
ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson described reading those same wiretap affidavits in March of last year, Grassley told Holder during the Senate hearing. He said he was alarmed that the information in the affidavits contradicted the public denial to Congress.
It appears Republican congressional investigators first learned of the Melson emails existence on July 4, 2011, when Melson chose to give a lengthy deposition on Fast and Furious without DOJ and ATF lawyers present. Grassley told Holder during the Senate hearing that congressional investigators first requested that the DOJ provide Congress with that email during July 2011, shortly after Melson made his then-secret trip across town to Capitol Hill.
The wiretap documents themselves are under federal court seal, leaving Grassley and Issa to tussle with Holder and Cumming about what they might show. Issa has said a whistleblower provided copies to his committee.
Holder has declined to ask the federal judge who sealed them to unseal them. The March 2011 Melson email, then, may be the only legal way without violating a court order to document the agreement of some senior Obama administration members with Issas and Grassleys characterizations of the documents.
Melsons email could also prove that although senior DOJ officials knew in March 2011 that the Feb. 4, 2011 letter was false, they chose to continue misleading Congress with gunwalking denials for several months.
We need to see it [the email] to corroborate his testimony, Grassley said during the June 12 hearing. But the Department is withholding that email along with every other document after Feb. 4, 2011.
Grassley pressed Holder on the question of how DOJ had the authority to withhold Melsons email from Congress, a full week before President Obama indicated that he would invoke executive privilege to shield requested documents. At that time, Holder claimed the Melson email would not be protected by executive privilege.
On what legal ground are you withholding that email? He asked. The president cant claim executive privilege to withhold that email, is that correct?
Well, let me just say this: We have reached out to Chairman Issa to work our way through these issues, Holder filibustered. We have had sporadic contacts and we are prepared to make I am prepared to make compromises with regard to the documents that can be made available. There is a basis for withholding these documents if they deal with the deliberative
But not on executive privilege? Grassley interrupted.
No, Holder responded.
Holder spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler wouldnt answer when The Daily Caller asked her if the DOJ was planning to provide the Melson email to Congress.
I hope fully grasp the needlessness of your aside.
GOPee doesn’t have the nerve to run on “HOPE and CHAINS” this year. Grassroots not Grassley will get the word out!
Probably not. Bonehead will cry his way out of Thursday and back off. His only excuse is Holder transferred a roll of toilet paper. Wound in it was a sticky note, get screwed. Bonehead would go crying all the way to the sand box.
Living adjacent to the Mississippi river, you’d think it wouldn’t bother me so much.
A national-level scheme to intentionally release high-power weapons into the hands of known criminals in the hope that those weapons would be used to commit crimes (to create a political argument against the Second Amendment) and create chaos in Mexico, with the full knowledge and expectation that some of those crimes would include murder.
Accessory to hundreds of crimes...
International crimes against humanity...?
“MASS MURDERGATE” is more accurate.
The difference between then and now......INTERNET.
MsM pound sand.
Exactly. I would say it is disingenuous on a massive scale to claim they want to protect Mexican illegals while not giving a flying rip that 300, and probably many more, Mexican citizens were murdered in cold blood as a result of this administration's policies, agenda and deceit. Romney needs to jump on this paradox with both feet. All Obama and his cutthroats want is raw political power and they don't care who dies or is destroyed in their attempt to get it.
It's Watergate with body bags..
To Travis, I have been calling it Murdergate since first learning of the early details through the Sipsey Street guys. It is far more apropos than the goofy title of a rotten movie.
Papa, I really think the only hand they have to play now is a total takeover of the country. I have been concerned for some time this administration would pull off something to create a crisis so large to declare Martial Law and invalidate any and all elections until the “crisis” has been resolved.
Then all of a sudden on the same day that the SCOTUS punted, again, and the administration decided to rescind 287(g) to only Arizona followed by the tattle tale hotline at Justice, it is clear they care nothing about the election.
If they care nothing about the elections, what is the only logical move these people make when the rule of law does not apply to them? Consider also that Jimmie Carter was lambasting the Obama Administration on human rights issues.
I say the election goes as scheduled and if they lose, Jimmie will find something wrong with the elections and have the UN invalidate them (for what it is actually worth) and then the coup ensues using the UN as the controlling mindset.
(tin foil hat removed with hopefully no serious erroneous word-smithing)
“Has anyone bothered to bring up the fact, to all the Mexicans in America (legally and illegally) that their buddies, Holder and Obama, whom they voted for and who claims to love the Mexican people so much, sent arms to Mexico that killed 300 innocent Mexican people?”
Not to my knowledge. Hopefully the majority of talk radio and conservative press will pick up on your post and run with it. You may well have changed the way Romney woos the ‘hispanic’ vote - far more effective and it’s not pandering!
Not to mention the Mississippi bookkeepping addressee with the sweettooth.
Issa’s committee likely already has a back door copy of the memo.
My biggest concern is that Holder’s strategy is to stonewall this until January 2013 when Obama and Co walk dutifully out of the White House for the final time on official duty.
Since we as a culture have made, for better or for worse, investigations of past administrations off-limits.
Whippersnappers with their knickknacks kinda bug me too...
Yes, a man with the screen name "dead corpse" is expositing on redundancy. It's a weird world...
I once spoke to my bookkeeper about the needlessness of repetitive letters. She did not understand.