Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced details for the second in what he said will be a series of hearings on Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious. The hearing, set for Wednesday June 15, will examine “reckless decisions” and “tragic outcomes” as a result of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) programs.
In Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious, ATF officials who reported to President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) allowed guns to be taken into Mexico via “straw purchasers,” or people who were eligible to purchase guns in the U.S. but were doing so with the known intention of trafficking them into Mexico. The ultimate goal, apparently, was to attempt to track the larger Mexican drug cartels’ gun market.
Next Wednesday’s hearing witnesses, according to an Oversight Committee release, will include Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, ATF agents, Justice Department officials and family members of dead Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Two AK47’s the ATF was tracking in Operation Fast and Furious were found at the scene of Terry’s death.
“The reckless decisions of ATF and Justice Department officials in Operation Fast and Furious have devastated lives and put fear into communities on both sides of the border,” Issa said in a statement. “By exploring this Justice Department sanctioned program, we can better understand the flawed process surrounding the genesis and implementation of an operation that put guns into the hands of criminals.”
Issa’s committee previously announced it will hold a hearing this coming Monday, June 13, to examine whether the DOJ is required to respond to a “lawfully issued and valid Congressional subpoena.” The DOJ has yet to provide Issa with the information he subpoenaed back on April 1.