Politico reported Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder sent a “private letter” to the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, apologizing for his death. But friends of the Terry family question the Department of Justice’s apparent decision to leak that letter to media before both his parents had read it.
“Eric Holder has told the grieving family of slain U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry that he is ‘sorry for the loss of your son’ and offered to meet with them,” reporter Tim Mak wrote.
Holder’s letter, Mak wrote, praised the fallen Border Patrol Agent: “Brian was a hero who served his nation bravely and made the ultimate sacrifice. I agree with you that the tactic of allowing guns to ‘walk,’ as was permitted in Operation Fast and Furious, is completely unacceptable.”
Politico hasn’t published the letter in its entirety. And friends of the Terry family told The Daily Caller on Thursday that they haven’t received it.
“He never sent a letter,” Lana Domino, a Terry family friend, told TheDC on Thursday.
“I talk to them daily,” Domino added. “They never received an apology. They never received a letter.”
If what Domino said is true, either Holder never sent his “private letter” to Terry’s parents or someone at the Justice Department leaked it to Politico before its recipients received it.
The reports of such a letter come mere days after Holder refused to apologize to Terry’s family during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn gave Holder the opportunity to apologize to Terry’s family during the Tuesday hearing, but Holder refused to say sorry — and admitted he’s never spoken with the family or offered to meet with them.
Politico claims the letter was dated and sent on Wednesday — but Domino said no member of the family received such a letter on Wednesday or on Thursday. “If Holder claims he sent it yesterday [Wednesday], he didn’t overnight it,” Domino said in a phone interview.
Mak didn’t respond to TheDC’s request for comment about why Politico didn’t publish the letter he claims to have received. (PRESSURE BUILDS: 38 congressmen demand Eric Holder’s resignation)
And, as usual, Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler wouldn’t answer when TheDC asked her why she or someone else at the DOJ leaked the letter to Politico before Terry’s family received it.
Domino said that Holder’s true “coldness” as a person has finally begun to shine through to the American people. Even President Barack Obama called Terry’s family apologizing for his death, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano went to Terry’s funeral in Michigan.
“[Holder] never went to a memorial — there are numerous memorials that he could’ve went to,” Domino said. “He never went to the funeral in Michigan.”
“Obama sent a letter,” Domino said. “Obama made a phone call. Napolitano came with a letter from Obama. Napolitano was at the funeral.”
“At that point, he should have, you’d think, paid his respects to the family,” Domino said.
Domino shared that Holder could have approached Terry’s mother, Josephine, at “Police Week” in Washington, D.C., when he saw her. But he chose not to.
Domino added that Holder could’ve also apologized publicly when Cornyn have him the opportunity to in Tuesday’s hearing. “He responded like the cold-hearted person that he is,” Domino said. “He’s as cold as ice.”
“This man [Holder] feels no remorse,” Domino said. “He put on his lawyer hat, he answered the questions as appropriately as he could to cover his ‘end.’”
“The only regret that Eric Holder has is that Brian Terry died and it opened everybody’s eyes to Operation Fast and Furious and it put it to a halt,” Domino noted.
UPDATE: This story was updated to reflect new information provided to The Daily Caller by Terry family attorney Lincoln Combs. Contrary to Ms. Domino’s account, Mr. Combs told TheDC that Attorney General Holder emailed his letter of apology to one of Brian Terry’s sisters on the evening before the Politico story was published, and that Terry’s mother hadn’t read what Politico described as a “private letter” until after the news outlet published a report of its existence.