The Conservative Caucus ran an ad in the Washington Times on Wednesday, offering a $100,000 reward to any whistle-blower who comes forward with proof President Barack Obama or his senior White House aides knew about or approved Operation Fast and Furious.
“Was Operation Fast & Furious simply a bungled attempt to capture Mexican drug lords, or was it an ‘under the radar’ political scheme hatched at the White House as now appears possible?” the group’s chairman Peter J. Thomas asked in a statement.
The ad compares Fast and Furious to Watergate, and encourages whistle-blowers in possession of “verifiable evidence that President Obama or one of his aides knew about Operation Fast & Furious while it was underway” to turn it in “just like John Dean did.” (RELATED: Complete coverage of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal)
John Dean was President Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel – an administration figure deeply involved in the Watergate scandal who eventually turned on Nixon and cooperated with prosecutors.
“This is your opportunity to save yourself before Operation Fast & Furious comes crashing down like Watergate,” the ad reads. “Don’t go to jail.”
“The truth will come out. Will you be caught in the web of Operation Fast & Furious, or will you avoid jail time?”
Thomas added that he thinks “Americans have the right to learn the truth and see brought to justice anyone who may have been involved in this scheme which led to the death of US Border Patrol, agent Brian Terry, and of Mexican citizens.”
“We felt forced to run this advertisement and offer the $100,000 reward because justice was not being served, and we wanted to offer an opportunity to anyone who knows the truth to save yourself before Operation Fast & Furious comes crashing down like Watergate; to make the right choice now,” he said.
House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, the lead investigator on the scandal in the House of Representatives, has compared Fast and Furious to Watergate as well.
During a Dec. 8, 2011, House Judiciary Committee hearing, Issa pushed Holder on documents he is withholding in defiance of a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “Don’t you think it is a little conspicuous that there is not one email from or to you on Fast and Furious?” Issa asked. “Isn’t it true that executive privilege [asserted by Obama] does not include you?”
Holder responded that his Department of Justice has “not withheld any documents that are responsive. We have withheld information about ongoing investigations.”
Issa fired back: That’s how John Mitchell responded.”
John Mitchell was Nixon’s Attorney General during Watergate. He served 19 months in prison for his involvement in planning the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters inside the Watergate hotel and for helping Nixon cover it up.