Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who represents Lake Elsinore, is apparently getting some answers by Monday to his questions about Operation Fast and Furious.
The Associated Press is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder is proposing to meet with Issa by Monday to settle a dispute over Justice Department documents the congressman is demanding on the flawed gun-smuggling probe.
Holder says his department is prepared to turn over documents detailing how Justice Department officials came to the realization that federal agents in Arizona had used a controversial investigative tactic that resulted in hundreds of illicitly purchased guns winding up in Mexico, many of them at crime scenes, according to The Associated Press.
In a letter to Issa, the attorney general says the information he is prepared to provide will fully address concerns of the congressman and House Republican leaders, according to The Associated Press.
On June 6, Issa, who is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, confronted Holder with new documents allegedly showing that senior Justice Department Officials in Washington were given specific information about “reckless tactics” used in Operation Fast and Furious.
Fast and Furious was a sting operation undertaken by U.S. officials whereby guns were sold to smugglers. In theory, the sales would lead to large-scale busts of Mexican drug cartels and arrests of their high-ranking officials. However, as of fall 2011, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reports there were no high-level arrests made, despite the five-year sting operation. Instead, the committee argues guns recklessly fell into criminal hands in Mexico. As reported by myriad news agencies, two of the weapons were recovered at the scene of the slaying of a U.S. border agent, Brian Terry.
Wiretaps utilized in Operation Fast and Furious were intended to allow U.S. investigators in Arizona to listen in on phone calls of suspects. According to a document from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, six applications for wiretaps, which have been sealed by a federal judge, detail specific actions taken by agents in Operation Fast and Furious. “This includes conscious decisions not to interdict weapons that agents knew were illegally purchased by smugglers taking weapons to Mexico,” the Oversight Committee contends.
Information contained in the wiretaps had been subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee, but the Justice Department had refused to turn them over to investigators.
Issa alleges that Holder is misleading Congress about both the contents of the wiretap applications and details of who knew about and gave approval for sting tactics.
“While refusing to produce the subpoenaed documents, Holder has previously denied knowledge of and cast doubt on the possibility that the wiretap applications contained information about reckless tactics,” Issa contends.