A bombshell report released Wednesday on Operation Fast and Furious faulted a range of federal agencies for the failed anti-gunrunning program and accused officials in charge of a "disregard" for public safety. In the wake of the report, one Justice Department official resigned.
The sprawling report by the department's inspector general is the most comprehensive account yet on the deadly operation which allowed weapons to "walk" across the U.S.-Mexico border and resulted in hundreds of firearms turning up at crime scenes in both countries.
The report says Attorney General Eric Holder was not made aware of potential flaws in the program until February of last year. But the report cites 14 other department employees -- including Criminal Division head Lanny Breuer -- for potential wrongdoing, recommending the department consider disciplinary action against them.
It also marked Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division, as the highest-ranking DOJ employee in a position to stop the program. Weinstein, who disputes the findings, is nevertheless resigning in the wake of the report.
This report still doesn't really answer a lot of questions about the scandal, and the fact that one official is resigning and 14 others are singled out for potential disciplinary action only makes the Justice Department's stonewalling of the congressional investigation of Fast and Furious look even worse in retrospect. Stay tuned.
Yesterday on CNN, White House chief of staff Jack Lew defended the Obama administration's involvement in the Fast and Furious scandal by saying that "this administration has been the most transparent ever."
In 2009, President Obama said in a statement on the Freedom of Information Act that "The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears."
Obama and administration officials also pledged to run the "most transparent administration in history."
In light of today's announcement that President Obama is using executive privilege to cover Attorney General Eric Holder from releasing Fast and Furious documents, it's worth remembering what Obama said in 2007 about this practice:
Texas senator John Cornyn called into question the intelligence of Attorney General Eric Holder earlier today in a radio interview. "Do you think Holder is smart?," radio host Laura Ingraham asked Cornyn. "I have not been impressed with his intelligence," Cornyn responded.
I don't know why GOP candidates haven't made more out of the ongoing investigation into the Fast and Furious scandal, but it looks like Ted Cruz, who's running for a Senate seat in Texas, is looking to make an issue out of it:
Oh boy. House Republicans should do their best to get Holder in front of a camera whenever they can. He's really his own worst enemy:
A visibly frustrated Attorney General Eric Holder slammed the table when responding to a question about Operation Fast and Furious during a Tuesday budget hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.
If you weren't able to watch today's congressional hearings with Attorney General Eric Holder on the Fast and Furious scandal, here's a taste of what it was like. Two American law enforcement agents are dead, and despite bearing a significant measure of responsibility, the Justice Department has been stonewalling for months and several pieces of evidence suggest the DOJ has not told the truth about what it knows. When members of Congress voice their frustration with this, Holder is defensive and says he deserves "credit":
Eric Holder is currently getting grilled on Capitol Hill over the Fast and Furious gun running scandal. But the family of slain border patrol agent Brian Terry isn't waiting around for the Attorney General to come clean about the role the government played in Terry's death: