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Justice Department Official Resigns Over Fast and Furious Report

4:18 PM, Sep 19, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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As much as it's a distraction from some inartful comments Mitt Romney made about taxes, perhaps the media might spend sometime explaining why a Justice Department official just resigned over over a report on the Fast and Furious scandal that led to the death of a border patrol agent:

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.

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