During Senate testimony, Holder changes misleading testimony from May hearing

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Attorney General Eric Holder flip-flopped his Operation Fast and Furious testimony during a Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. During a May 3 House Judiciary Committee hearing, Holder told Congressional investigators at least twice that he had only learned of the controversial Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program a “few weeks” beforehand. But testifying Tuesday, Holder’s timeline changed.

His new testimony amounts to an admission that he misled Congress during that May 3 hearing. House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz both asked him during that hearing when he had first learned of “Fast and Furious,” and he answered the same way twice.

“I did say a ‘few weeks,’” Holder clarified Tuesday, responding to questions from Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I probably could’ve said ‘a couple of months.’ I didn’t think the term I said, ‘few weeks,’ was inaccurate based on what happened.”

Holder also admitted to Leahy that Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley handed him letters in person in late January, months before Holder previously claimed he knew of the controversial initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The BATFE is a division of the Department of Justice.

“I got from Sen. Grassley, what indicate [sic], a couple letters from him at the end of January, I believe it was January the 31st,” Holder testified. “These letters talked about a connection between an operation and the death of Agent Terry. It did not mention Fast and Furious, it just referenced Operation Gunrunner. I asked my staff to look into this and during the month of February, I became aware of Fast and Furious from press reports and others that I received from Sen. Grassley.”

A spokesman for Leahy hasn’t immediately responded to a question from The Daily Caller about what Leahy plans to do in light of Holder’s admission that his May 3 testimony was inaccurate. It’s unclear Leahy, a Democrat, will take action, or what that might consist of.

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