Skip to comments.ATF leaderís email could be Fast and Furious smoking gun and Holder admitted Obama canít shield it
Posted on 06/26/2012 6:14:06 AM PDT by Qbert
A single internal Department of Justice email could be the smoking-gun document in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal if it turns out to contain what congressional investigators have said it does.
The document would establish that wiretap application documents show senior DOJ officials knew about and approved the gunwalking tactic in Fast and Furious. This is the opposite of what Attorney General Eric Holder and House oversight committee ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings have claimed.
It appears that email would also prove senior DOJ officials, likely including Holder himself, knew in March 2011 that a Feb. 4, 2011 letter from the DOJ to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley falsely denied guns were permitted to walk into Mexico. The DOJ allowed that false letter to stand for nine more months, only withdrawing it in December 2011.
During the June 24 broadcast of Fox News Sunday, House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa cited the email as a good example of a specific document his committee knows Holder is hiding from Congress.
The ATF director, Kenneth Melson, sent an e-mail. And he had said to us in sworn testimony that, in fact, he had concerns, Issa said. And we want to see that e-mail because thats an example where he was saying, if we believe his sworn testimony, that guns walked. And he said it shortly after February 4, and [on] July 4. When he told us that, we began asking for that document.
But the details of it surfaced first when Grassley mentioned it for the first time publicly during a June 12 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where Holder was testifying.
He [Melson] immediately sent an email warning others, back off the letter to Sen. Grassley in light of the information in the affidavits, Grassley explained.
Ken Melson, now the former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, purportedly sent that email to several DOJ leaders in March 2011. According to Grassley, Melson wrote that he had reviewed the wiretap applications the same documents Cummings and Holder claim do not show senior DOJ officials knew of or approved gunwalking tactics in Fast and Furious.
ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson described reading those same wiretap affidavits in March of last year, Grassley told Holder during the Senate hearing. He said he was alarmed that the information in the affidavits contradicted the public denial to Congress.
It appears Republican congressional investigators first learned of the Melson emails existence on July 4, 2011, when Melson chose to give a lengthy deposition on Fast and Furious without DOJ and ATF lawyers present. Grassley told Holder during the Senate hearing that congressional investigators first requested that the DOJ provide Congress with that email during July 2011, shortly after Melson made his then-secret trip across town to Capitol Hill.
The wiretap documents themselves are under federal court seal, leaving Grassley and Issa to tussle with Holder and Cumming about what they might show. Issa has said a whistleblower provided copies to his committee.
Holder has declined to ask the federal judge who sealed them to unseal them. The March 2011 Melson email, then, may be the only legal way without violating a court order to document the agreement of some senior Obama administration members with Issas and Grassleys characterizations of the documents.
Melsons email could also prove that although senior DOJ officials knew in March 2011 that the Feb. 4, 2011 letter was false, they chose to continue misleading Congress with gunwalking denials for several months.
We need to see it [the email] to corroborate his testimony, Grassley said during the June 12 hearing. But the Department is withholding that email along with every other document after Feb. 4, 2011.
Grassley pressed Holder on the question of how DOJ had the authority to withhold Melsons email from Congress, a full week before President Obama indicated that he would invoke executive privilege to shield requested documents. At that time, Holder claimed the Melson email would not be protected by executive privilege.
On what legal ground are you withholding that email? He asked. The president cant claim executive privilege to withhold that email, is that correct?
Well, let me just say this: We have reached out to Chairman Issa to work our way through these issues, Holder filibustered. We have had sporadic contacts and we are prepared to make I am prepared to make compromises with regard to the documents that can be made available. There is a basis for withholding these documents if they deal with the deliberative
But not on executive privilege? Grassley interrupted.
No, Holder responded.
Holder spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler wouldnt answer when The Daily Caller asked her if the DOJ was planning to provide the Melson email to Congress.
I hear it's good for you...
Ref. your Post #32: Guess I need to figure out how to get that piece of info to Rush, Sean or the Romney Campaign.
Hey, double letters; double cross; double talk; double standards; double trouble; double jeopardy...
How could the possible implications go any further wrong?
I don’t have a clue. I am not connected. I am hoping some of his minions monitor this site or that a FreeRepublic member who is connected picks up on it. It is hard to believe that some of his campaign brains have not already thought of this.
Because comity is a different word with a different meaning entirely.
I like your handle. Once I got used to it. [smiles]
I’m going to suggest to the Romney Campaign that they hire you and me. I’m sure they will, so, start thinking about the amount of salary we should demand from the Romney Campaign for our services.
Nothing will come of this. The election is in November. If Zero is ousted, this will all get swept under the rug and the main characters will be changed out.
If Zero IS re-elected, the balance of power in Congress will likely shift as well. Doubtful that current investigations will survive a change in committee make up.
Yup. King obama invoking ep was a brilliant move. We can wail and scream, Issa can beat his head against a wall, but the investigation is over and obama and Holder walk away clean. And does anyone believe that email hasn’t “inadvertently” been destroyed or lost by now?
I’d like to see a subpoena sent to Sarah Brady.
Kenneth Melson deserves a medal and some protection. He did the right thing.
That image is absolute truth, IMO. I’ve kept it as my screensaver/wallpaper for a year, now.
Enemies of the domestic variety.
Eric Holder, June 12, 2012, being questioned by Senate Judiciary Committee
"I am Saddam Hussein the president of Iraq and I am willing to negotiate."
Saddam Hussein, Dec 16, 2003, as US troops were about to throw a hand grenade down the hole he was hiding in.
The dictator types are all the same.
Excellent comparison between dictators. Can I borrow your quote to send to my friends?
I’m not the most informed guy when it comes to what and who Congress has power over in situations like this. I’m well aware that our alleged government, is supposed to derive it powers from the people. I’m aware that there are powers enumerated in the Constitution about the roles of the House and Senate. But....
Can someone tell me where the AG has the power to tell Congress that he is willing to compromise and hide information from the very people that are responsible for the oversight of the DOJ? Everyone who voted for Holder should be taken out of the Senate building, put on the border and forced to stand a watch and chase folks thru the desert.
They are nothing but a damn disgrace.
The most unfortunate thing about this whole trainwreck is that, if obama loses(God willing) this whole thing will disappear as if it never happened.
Comity is much nicer than what comes from most committees these days...
Some things almost need to be doubled. Although, the down side comes from my Wife not approving of such shenanigans. ;-)
Yes... anoyed! and there isn’t any commitment to the use of double letters in committmeent... please. we call this meting to order. no more double leters. especialy in more than one pair in a single word.
kep up the god works...