Next week, the DOJ’s internal Inspector General is expected to release its long-awaited report on Operation Fast and Furious. Issa has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 11, and he has invited Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to testify then about the report.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Horowitz wrote back to Issa saying his report may not be done in time for the Tuesday hearing.
“In a letter to Capitol Hill, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said his investigators now must pore over wiretap records, grand jury material and sealed court records to make sure nothing that should not be disclosed is inadvertently included in the final report,” the Times’ Richard Serrano wrote.
Horowitz told Issa that, because of those “legal restrictions, we cannot release the report or discuss its conclusions until the issues arising from this sensitivity review have been resolved.”
Since Holder’s DOJ ordered Ron Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, not to enforce the bipartisan House resolution holding Holder in criminal contempt of Congress, House leaders are pursuing the civil contempt resolution. In mid-August, Issa officially filed the lawsuit challenging President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents.
Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley both believe a judge will eventually overturn Obama’s privilege assertion.
Wiretap application documents have proven senior officials in Obama’s DOJ in Washington signed off on Fast and Furious and the dangerous gunwalking tactic it used, despite repeated claims, under oath, to the contrary from Holder and others in the Obama administration.
During Operation Fast and Furious, which was organized by the ATF and overseen by the DOJ, the Obama administration sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via “straw purchasers” who bought guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else. This tactic is known as “gunwalking.”
Some of those weapons were apparently used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and at least 300 Mexican civilians.
A total of 130 House members, eight U.S. senators and two sitting governors have demanded Holder resign over Fast and Furious, as has Obama’s GOP challenger Mitt Romney.