Eric Holder Cleared in OIG Report on Fast and Furious
The Office of Inspector General released a 451 page report today on Fast and Furious. It specifically clears Attorney General Eric Holder of wrongdoing.
We determined that Attorney General Holder did not learn about Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February 2011 and was not aware of allegations of “gun walking” in the investigation until February. We found no evidence that Department or ATF staff informed the Attorney General about Operation Wide Receiver or Operation Fast and Furious prior to 2011. We concluded that the Attorney General’s Deputy Chief of Staff, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, and the leadership of the Criminal Division failed to alert the Attorney General to significant information about or flaws in those investigations.
Holder's public statement on the report is here.
Some others didn't fare so well. [More....]
Holder said today:
“First, Kenneth Melson, the former Acting Director at ATF, has retired from the Department, effective immediately.... I have accepted the resignation of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, a longtime career prosecutor who most recently served in the Criminal Division where he led our violent and organized crime, computer crimes and intellectual property enforcement efforts.
....those individuals within ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona, whom the OIG report found to have been responsible for designing, implementing or supervising Operation Fast and Furious have been referred to the appropriate entities for review and consideration of potential personnel actions.
Holder describes the report's findings:
- The inappropriate strategy and tactics employed were field-driven and date back to 2006;
- The leadership of the Department did not know about or authorize the use of the flawed strategy and tactics; and
- The Department’s leadership did not attempt to cover up information or mislead Congress about it.
Holder obliquely refers to the Republican gamesmanship involved:
“It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations – accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion. I hope today’s report acts as a reminder of the dangers of adopting as fact unsubstantiated conclusions before an investigation of the circumstances is completed.
|< New Discovery in George Zimmerman Case | Thursday Morning Open Thread >|