Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Trey Gowdy of South Carolina fired off a letter to Barack Obama last Friday demanding to know what the president knew about Operation Fast and Furious and when he knew it.
Chaffetz and Gowdy outlined inconsistencies between Obama’s public comments about the controversial gun-walking program and Attorney General Eric Holder’s May 3 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. At the Judiciary hearing, Holder said he had only learned of Operation Fast and Furious a few weeks earlier.
But on March 22 Obama talked about the program with Spanish-language television network Univision, saying that he “did not authorize it” and that “Eric Holder, the Attorney General, did not authorize it.” Obama added then that Holder had been “very clear that our policy is to catch gunrunners and put them into jail. So what he’s done is he’s assigned an I.G., an inspector general, to investigate what exactly happened.”
Referring to that Univision interview, Chaffetz and Gowdy wrote to Obama: “In connection with the exchange provided below, during Attorney General Holder’s testimony in May of 2011, he stated that he learned of ‘Fast and Furious’ a ‘few weeks ago,’ Would you inform us how you knew in March of 2011, 1 month prior to his testimony, that Attorney General Holder did not ‘authorize’ this investigation?”
“To that end,” their letter continued, “if you knew the Attorney General did not authorize ‘Fast and Furious,’ how did you learn that and when did you learn that? (RELATED: Senate blocks funding for future Fast and Furious programs)
Probing further about Obama’s knowledge of who actually did approve Fast and Furious, Gowdy and Chaffetz continued: “If you knew Attorney General Holder did not authorize it, inherent in that response is knowledge of who did authorize it. That information would be most helpful to the committee as we seek answers to this tragically ill-conceived and tragically ill-executed investigation.”
Read the letter: