Politics

Issa: Holder protecting staff despite ‘Fast and Furious’ mistakes

In anticipation of Attorney General Eric Holder’s testimony today before the House Judiciary Committee, California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa wrote an op-ed in USA Today accusing Holder of protecting his staff despite admissions that Operation Fast and Furious was “fundamentally flawed.”

“Surprisingly” Issa wrote Thursday, “no one at Justice Department headquarters has faced any meaningful consequences. While replacing the entire ATF leadership structure and causing the U.S. attorney for Arizona to tender his resignation, Holder has consistently used a concurrent investigation by the inspector general to prevent him from acting against senior officials close to him.”

Fast and Furious, Issa explains, was originally conceived by the Phoenix division of the Bureau of Alochol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the intent of supplying firearms to straw buyers as a means of identifying cartel members. The guns supplied by the ATF were subsequently linked to at least 300 murders in Mexico, and to the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

“Under such flawed and weak leadership at Justice” Holder continued, “the American public has little reason to be confident that the next flawed program will be stopped before it, too, costs lives.”

“The president says he still has faith in the attorney general. If Holder, however, cannot foster a culture of accountability within his own department, President Obama would be wise to reassess the public interest.”