The Fast and Furious scandal, in which the Justice Department knowingly gave Mexican criminal gangs thousands of guns, just keeps escalating. The latest development centers around whether or not Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about having knowledge of the controversial gun trafficking operation. Recently released documents say Holder was briefed about the operation long before he told the Judiciary Committee he was first aware of what was going on. (Holder now claims he misunderstood the question was being asked.)
What's more, CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson -- who's been covering the scandal from the beginning -- says in an interview on the Laura Ingraham Show today that the White House and Justice Department have taken to screaming at her for reporting on the story. You can listen to the full interview below, but here are the key excerpts from Attkisson:
In between the yelling that I received from Justice Department yesterday, the spokeswoman--who would not put anything in writing, I was asking for her explanation so there would be clarity and no confusion later over what had been said, she wouldn't put anything in writing--so we talked on the phone and she said things such as the question Holder answered was different than the one he asked. But he phrased it, he said very explicitly, 'I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.'
Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you? Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House."
Finally, Attkisson notes that the White House is claiming that a thorough investigation of the scandal is unwarranted:
[The White House and Justice Department] will tell you that I'm the only reporter--as they told me--that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I'm the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I'm unfair and biased by pursuing it.
Why a gunrunning scandal codenamed “Fast and Furious,” a program run secretly by the U.S. government that sent thousands of firearms over an international border and directly into the hands of criminals, hasn’t been pursued by an army of reporters all trying to be the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein is a story in itself.
The Obama administration’s Justice Department has been no stranger to controversy. Attorney General Eric Holder has staked out controversial policies on everything from terrorist detainee trials to the decision not to pursue voter intimidation charges against two New Black Panther party members patrolling a polling place with weapons.