Politics
William Newell, special agent in charge of the ATF William Newell, special agent in charge of the ATF's field office in Phoenix, speaks behind a cache of seized weapons. The controversial Operation Fast and Furious was run out of his office. (Matt York, AP)  

ATF official resigns after Issa, Grassley nail him in congressional Fast and Furious report

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Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

The man who served as the deputy director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives during Operation Fast and Furious resigned on Tuesday, an agency spokesman told The Associated Press on Thursday.

William Hoover was one of the five ATF officials House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley singled out as responsible for Operation Fast and Furious. ATF spokesman Drew Wade told the AP that Hoover resigned on Tuesday – the day Issa and Grassley released the congressional report in which they singled out Hoover and four of his colleagues.

Wade did not immediately responded to a request from The Daily Caller seeking confirmation that the GOP lawmakers’ report prompted Hoover’s resignation, and did not answer whether or not resignations are in the works for the other four officials.

The other four ATF officials Issa and Grassley blamed Fast and Furious on in this report are:

  • William Newell, the special agent in charge of the phoenix field division
  • William McMahon, Newell’s boss who was ATF’s deputy assistant director for field operations
  • Mark Chait, McMahon’s boss who was ATF’s assistant director for field operations
  • Kenneth Melson, former acting ATF director

Since Fast and Furious broke out as a major national scandal, all five of those ATF leaders have since been reassigned within ATF and the Justice Department.

The report that came out on Tuesday was the first in a series of three planned reports from Issa and Grassley on Fast and Furious. The report delves into the actual government wrongdoing that occurred when guns were allowed to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartel operatives.

Two more reports that Issa and Grassley staffers are working on will detail how political figures in President Barack Obama’s administration were involved in and covered up the scandal.

The second report, investigators write, will chronicle the “devastating failure of supervision and leadership by officials at Justice Department headquarters, principally within the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, and within the Criminal Division” and the third “will address the unprecedented obstruction of the investigation by the highest levels of the Justice Department, including the Attorney General himself.”

The second report will be released “soon” and the third report “can only be prepared after the Justice Department fulfills its obligations to cooperate with the Congress and produce documents.”

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