Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says he does not believe Attorney General Eric Holder gave accurate testimony under oath to Congress during the House Judiciary Committee on May 3.
Asked in May when he learned of Operation “Fast and Furious” and “Project Gunrunner,” Holder claimed he ‘probably’ learned of it ‘over the last few weeks.’ In the testy exchange that followed, Issa pointed out that two Americans were killed by weapons associated with the botched operation, and that in the end, no major criminals were brought to justice. Issa also implies that the Department of Justice was deliberately slow-rolling the request for documentation about the program. You can watch the exchange between Holder and Issa here.
As for the Attorney General’s timeline of the last few weeks, Operation ‘Fast and Furious’ was reported in major news outlets across the country starting not weeks, but months before the May 3 hearing, including a 4-page article in the Washington Post in February naming the program and explaining how it was supposed to work.
Here is a clip from a Univision interview on March 23, 2011, in which Obama claims neither he nor the Attorney General were informed of the program. President Obama, when pressed on the issue, stated that “this is a big government, we have a lot of moving parts.” At the end of the interview, the President assures the interviewer that if mistakes were made, “we’ll hold somebody accountable.”
Recently, acting chief of the ATF Kenneth Melson gave secret testimony on the Gunrunner scandal to Congress. In a letter to Attorney General Holder from Congressmen Issa and Grassley, Melson’s testimony was described as “very helpful” However, the letter from Issa and Grassley went on to warn against DOJ or White House retribution against Melson amidst rumors that he will be forced to step down.