More on the investigation into Project Gunrunner
In a Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Sen. Grassley, the Justice Dept. had claimed whistleblower allegations were “false” and that “ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transport to Mexico.” The Justice Dept. appeared to stand by those statements in a separate letter to Grassley yesterday stating: “It remains our understanding that ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious did not knowingly permit straw buyers to take guns into Mexico.”
“(W)e were surprised and disappointed to see the Department repeat once again, in slightly different language, its denial…” reads the Grassley/Issa letter to Holder, sent today. “When questioned in transcribed interviews last week in Phoenix, agents with first-hand knowledge of ATF operations contradicted that claim.”
Three Project Gunrunner documents Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and House Oversight Committee chairman, released on Wednesday show high-ranking Justice Department officials were aware of Operation Fast and Furious and that there was a consistent administration policy that allowed American guns to be “walked” into Mexican drug cartels’ possession.