Skip to comments.Issa’s secret gunwalking wiretaps revealed in Congressional Record
Posted on 06/29/2012 12:03:55 PM PDT by Red Steel
Rep. Darrell Issa managed to push the details of a secret wiretap application from the botched Fast and Furious gunwalking operation into the public domain this week when he entered summaries into the Congressional Record, apparently using Congress protection under the speech and debate clause to get around legal boundaries.
The summary of a March 2010 wiretap application shows that federal agents repeatedly lost track of guns they knew were being trafficked back to cartels in Mexico a violation of Justice Department policy that should have raised red flags with top department officials who signed off on the wiretaps, said Mr. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the oversight committee that is looking into the operation.
Mr. Issa introduced the summary as part of the Houses debate Thursday before lawmakers held a historic vote to to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress.
Mr. Issa contends the wiretap application contradicts Mr. Holders claim that nothing in there would have shown gunwalking was going on.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Eric Holder and Obama are going to get WaterGated. :-)
I think Holder knows where a whole lot of “bodies” are buried in this administration and he’s holding that on Teh One. Time will tell but I bet he sings in the same range as Halderman and Erlichman
This is how we know propaganda: it’s always, “botched,” and virtually never failed, flawed, or ill-advised. This program went exactly as designed, until they were caught.
Republicans got in trouble for providing weapons to the freedom fighters in Nicaragua. Can we do any less to Democrats who provide weapons to drug cartels?
Anything less than the gallows is a gross miscarriage of justice.
Anything less than the gallows is a gross miscarriage of justice.
Exactly. Some people only skim headlines in print/online...
Go Issa, Go! Get those slimeballs.
If so, Holder needs to stay out of parks...and off of airplanes.
Fox News just reported that DOJ will not prosecute Holder for contempt.
Holder is a long time dem political "fixer" (he engineered the Marc Rich and FALN pardons during the Clinton administration) so I'd be willing to bet he knows where ALL the bodies are buried in the entire dem plantation, including the Clintons.
Unless this info get’s into the MSM echo chamber, where media feel’s compelled to report it every five minutes (think Monica Lewinsky, or Gary Condit) this will go nowhere. It’s too complex for the “America’s got Talent” crowd to spend more than 7 seconds of attention span on.
Well yeah, Holder bringing charges against Holder is not going to happen. LoL.
Holder has much bigger problems brewing here than just contempt of Congress.
Fox News just reported that DOJ will not prosecute Holder for contempt.
Issa’s move now. How soon before the Committee hires the outside prosecutor?
Who will prosecute him? Who has standing and will risk any chance of a political future bringing charges? Not to mention the automatic hate crime charge for daring to prosecute Holder.
Couldn’t congress come up with some new charges. Like obstruction of Justice against the DOJ. Is there no check and balance on a Department of Justice gone to the lawlessness.
June 28, 2012
Page #3: In addition to leading the Fast and Furious OCDETF task force, the U.S. Attorneys Office was instrumental in preparing the wiretap applications that were submitted to the Justice Departments Criminal Division. Federal prosecutors in Arizona filed at least six of these applications, each containing immense detail about operational tactics and specific information about straw purchasers, in federal court after Department headquarters authorized them.
Page #4: WIRETAPS At about the same time, senior lawyers in the Criminal Division authorized wiretap applications for Fast and Furious to be submitted to a federal judge. Fast and Furious involved the use of seven wiretaps between March and July of 2010.
In a letter to Chairman Issa, the Deputy Attorney General acknowledged that the Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO), part of the Justice Departments Criminal Division, is primarily responsible for the Departments statutory wiretap authorizations. 37 According to the letter, lawyers in OEO review these wiretap packages to ensure that they meet statutory requirements and DOJ policies. 38 When OEO completes its review of a wiretap package, federal law provides that the Attorney General or his designee in practice, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Divisionreviews and authorizes it.39 Each wiretap package includes an affidavit which details the factual basis upon which the authorization is sought. Each application for Fast and Furious included a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Breuer to Paul OBrien, Director of OEO, authorizing the interception application.40
The Criminal Divisions approval of the wiretap applications in Fast and Furious violated Department of Justice policy. The core mission of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is to protect[ ] our communities from . . . the illegal use and trafficking of firearms. 41
The wiretap applications document the extensive involvement of the Criminal Division in Fast and Furious. These applications were constructed from raw data contained in hundreds of Reports of Investigation (ROI); the Department of Justice failed to produce any of these ROI in response to the Committees subpoena. The Criminal Division authorized Fast and Furious wiretap applications on March 10, 2010; April 15, 2010; May 6, 2010; May 14, 2010; June 1, 2010; and July 1, 2010. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Keeney signed these applications on behalf of Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
Page #12 The Committee also obtained copies of wiretap applications authorized by senior Department officials during Operation Fast and Furious. These documents, given to the Committee by whistleblowers, shined light on category (a). Still, many subpoenaed documents under this category have been deliberately withheld by the Department. These documents are critical to understanding who is responsible for failing to promptly stop Fast and Furious. The Department has cited such documents as core investigative materials that pertain to pending law enforcement matters. 150 To accommodate the Departments interest in successfully prosecuting criminal defendants in this case, the Committee is willing to accept production of these documents after the current prosecutions of the 20 straw purchasers indicted in January 2011, have concluded at the trial level. This deferment should in no way be interpreted as the Committee ceding its legitimate right to receive these documents, but instead solely as an accommodation meant to alleviate the Departments concerns about preserving the integrity of the ongoing prosecutions.
Page #20 The Department's leadership allowed the ATF to implement this flawed strategy, fully aware of what was taking place on the ground. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona encouraged and supported every single facet of Fast and Furious. Main Justice was involved in providing support and approving various aspeds of the Operation, including wiretap applications that would necessarily include painstakingly detailed descriptions of what ATF knew about the straw buyers it was monitoring.
Page #105-106 C. Lanny Breuer and the Department of Justice Gil and Canino received the same message of support for Operation Fast and Furious from the Department of Justice. During a visit to Mexico, Lanny Breuer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division demonstrated his awareness of the case: Mr. [Breuer] kind of summed up his take on everything at the end, and one of them was that there's an investigation that ATF is conducting that looks like it's going to generate some good results and it will be a good positive case that we can prescnt to the Government of Mexico as efforts that the US Government is taking to try and interdict weapons going into Mexico. And that was about - that was it. That was just a general statement. Myself and my deputy I believe were in the room and we kind of looked at each other. We're a\vare of this case, and so we assumed that's what he WaS mentioning. And we just wanted to make sure - we look at each other going, hope the ambassador [Carlos Pascual] doesn't ask any questions because we really don't know anything about the case. And luckily the ambassador did 110t. 114
Canino also remembered a visit from Breuer where Breuer touled the Phoenix case:
Q. And during meetings \',!ith "Mr. Breuer, did this subject come up?
A. I mean, I was in a meeting, it was a country team meeting, or itmight have been a law enforcement team meeting ... Ambassador, Mr. Breuer was there, Darren was there, Mr. Breuer . . . the Ambassador was saying hey, you know what ... we need a big win we need some positive, some positive [firearms trafficking] cases. And Lanny Breuer says, yeah, there is a good case, there is a good case out of Phoenix. And that is all he said. ***
Q. But do you remember the specific incident with the Ambassador talking about thc success stories?
Q. And that is when Breuer mentioned this large case in Phoenix,?
A. Yeah. He said we got, there is a good case out of Phoenix.
Q. And is it your impression that the case he was referring to is what now what you now know to be Fast and Furious?
A. Yeah, when he said, I thought, oh, okay ... he knows. He knows about this case.lI5
The Department of Justice, and more specifically, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, clearly knew about Operation Fast and Furious. Further, the Department of Justice's Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO) approved numerous of the wiretap applications in this case. These applications were signed on behalf of Assistant Attorney General Breuer in the spring of 20 10. Instead of stemming the flow of firearms to Mexico, Operation Fast and Furious arguably contributed to an increase in weapons and violence. J 16
Page #223 AN ORGANIZED CRIME DRUG ENFORCEMENT TASK FORCE (0CDETF) WIRETAP CASE Operation Fast and Furious got its name when it became an official Department of Justice Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force case. The OCDETF designation resulted in funding for Fast and Furious from the Justice Departments headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Strike Force designation meant that it would not be run by ATF, but would instead create a multi-agency task force led by the U.S. Attorneys Office. The designation also meant that sophisticated law enforcement techniques such as the use of federal wire intercepts, or wiretaps, would be employed. Federal wiretaps are governed by Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, and are sometimes referred to as T IIIs.
The use of federal wire intercepts requires a significant amount of case-related information to be sent to senior Department officials for review and approval. All applications for federal wiretaps are authorized under the authority of the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. In practice, a top deputy for the Assistant Attorney General has final sign-off authority before the application is submitted to a federal judge for approval. This deputy must ensure that the wiretap application meets statutory requirements and Justice Department policy. The approval process includes a certification that the wiretap is necessary because other investigative techniques have been insufficient. Therefore, making such a judgment requires a review of operational tactics. Since gunwalking was an investigative technique utilized in Fast and Furious, then either top deputies in the Criminal Division knew about the tactics employed as part of their effort to establish legal sufficiency for the application, or they approved the wiretap applications in a manner inconsistent with Department policies.
From the beginning, ATF was transparent about its strategy. An internal ATF briefing paper used in preparation for the OCDETF application process explained as much: Currently our strategy is to allow the transfer of firearms to continue to take place, albeit at a much slower pace, in order to further the investigation and allow for the identification of co-conspirators who would continue to operate and illegally traffic firearms to Mexican DTOs which are perpetrating armed violence along the Southwest Border. The ultimate goal is to secure a Federal T III audio intercept to identify and prosecute all co-conspirators of the DTO. . . .
Tracking the illegally-purchased guns after they left the premises of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) would allow ATF and federal prosecutors to build a bigger case, one aimed at dismantling what was believed to be a complex firearms trafficking network. The task force failed, however, to track the firearms. Instead, according to the testimony of ATF agents, their supervisors ordered them to break off surveillance shortly after the guns left the gun stores or were transferred to unknown third parties. Many of the firearms purchased were next seen at crime scenes on both sides of the border.
Note: I have left out what was inserted in the CR by Clyburn in rebuttal. It was just a bunch of crap trying to obfuscate matters.
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