House lawmakers want to know what Holder knew about the program and when.
Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to testify at a Dec. 8 House Judiciary Committee about the “Fast and Furious” gun-running program operated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to root out Mexican drug cartels and weapons traffickers but ended up arming them instead. In addition, weapons connected to the controversial program have been allegedly linked to murders, including the murder of a Border Control agent in 2010.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, subpoenaed Holder and other Justice Department officials two weeks ago. Issa, who also sits on the Judiciary panel, wants to review all of the agency’s documents on the matter and any communications about the operation between Justice and the White House. House Republicans also want to learn more about what Holder knew about the program and when.
Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, on Oct. 28 sent a letter to Issa requesting that the panel hear from ATF director Kenneth Melson since he headed the agency responsible for the operation. Cummings said that Oversight’s investigation will not be “viewed as legitimate or credible — and I do not believe the public record will be complete — without public testimony from [Melson].
“A hearing with Mr. Melson would help the committee and the American people understand what mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, how these tactics originated, who did and did not authorize them, and what steps are being taken to ensure that they are not used again,” he wrote.
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