On Friday evening, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich refused the congressional request for subpoenaed documents regarding Operation Fast and Furious– claiming that GOP lawmakers can’t be trusted with the information.
According to CNN, in a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Weich suggested that sensitive information was being leaked to the media by their staffs.
“While we do not know who provided these letters to reporters, we are deeply disturbed that the sensitive law-enforcement information contained in them has now entered the public realm…This public disclosure is impeding the department’s efforts to hold individuals accountable for their illegal acts,” he said.
Therefore, Weich is denying Issa’s and Grassley’s subpoena because of the “sensitivity” of the ongoing operation.
Issa spokeswoman Becca Watkins responded Friday night, saying, “It is troubling that the attorney general continues to express the outlandish view that his compliance with lawful and binding subpoenas is merely optional.”
The ongoing dispute over access to Justice documents stems from an aggressive investigation by Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, with Grassley’s help, into the origins and impact of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ Operation Fast and Furious. That sting operation allowed agents to monitor illegally purchased long guns in Arizona gun shops. The weapons bought by straw purchasers were then smuggled into Mexico. Hundreds of weapons were then lost, and two of them turned up at the homicide site of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Attorney General Eric Holder has acknowledged the flawed tactic, and has vowed that guns will not be allowed ‘to walk’ from gun shops near the border with Mexico.