Issa To Investigate ATF

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said last night that his Committee would launch an investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The investigation will look into allegations that the agency helped traffic guns directly into the hands of the Mexican drug cartel resulting in the deaths of a Border Patrol Agent and an I.C.E. Agent, and comes on the heels of Sharyl Attkisson’s CBS News story.

Issa revealed his plans during an interview Wednesday evening on the Roger Hedgecock Show, saying it would be one of his “primary investigations.”

According to Issa, the official announcement will “come out in the next day or two.”  He said that although he normally investigates “waste, fraud, and abuse in government that leads to loss of money,” in this case, two individuals — a Border Patrol Agent and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent —  “lost their lives needlessly because AK-47’s got over the border — not by accident — they got their as part of a plot by the very people that should be protecting them…”

“We’re going to get to the bottom of it … we’re going to hold those who lied to us early on accountable,” Issa promised Hedgecock.

In a March 16 letter to Kenneth E. Melson, Acting Director of the ATF, Issa requested several documents and emails, due to him by March 30.

He also noted that “it has become clear that the Acting Inspector General cannot conduct an effective and independent inquiry sufficient to foster public confidence.”  He went on to note that, “Only a full congressional investigation can achieve this result and restore the public’s faith in the workings of the ATF.”

You can listen to Hedgecock’s interview with Issa here.

Matt K. Lewis