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IG: White House ‘Made it Impossible’ to Pursue Lead in Fast and Furious Probe
CNS ^ | September 20, 2012 | Fred Lucas

Posted on 09/20/2012 3:57:19 PM PDT by Hunton Peck

The White House’s refusal to release communications related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking program and the refusal of a White House official to be interviewed about the matter “made it impossible” for the inspector general (IG) of the Justice Department to “pursue that aspect of the case,” the IG, Michael Horowitz, testified.

He added that the sought-after White House interview and communications constituted “a lead we wanted to follow.”

At the hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on Thursday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) asked Horowitz, “Do you think the White House’s refusal to share these documents limited the scope of your investigation? Would this committee be well served in pursuing an investigation into that avenue?”

Horowitz answered, “As we noted in the report, we did not get internal communications from the White House and Mr. O’Reilly’s unwillingness to speak to us made it impossible for us to pursue that aspect of the case. Certainly we sought to pursue every lead we could. From our standpoint, it was a lead we wanted to follow.”

The report, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, was released yesterday by the office of the inspector general.

Mr. O’Reilly is Kevin O’Reilly and when Fast and Furious was in operation he was a member of President Barack Obama’s National Security Staff.

The IG report states, “We also sought to interview Kevin O’Reilly, an official with the White House National Security Staff, about communications he had in 2010 with Special Agent in Charge William Newell that included information about Operation Fast and Furious. O’Reilly declined through his personal counsel our request for an interview.”

Bill Newell was the ATF Special Agent in Charge for the Phoenix, Ariz., office that was running Operation Fast and Furious.

The IG report says, “We sought to interview O’Reilly in light of e-mail communications he had with Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell in 2010.”

“Newell told us that he had known O’Reilly during previous field office assignments and that the two shared information about firearms trafficking issues relevant to their geographic areas of responsibility,” the report said. “According to Newell, O’Reilly was also friends with ATF’s White House Liaison and through that relationship O’Reilly would be included on some information sharing between Newell and the ATF Liaison about ATF’s efforts on the Southwest Border, and that O’Reilly eventually communicated with Newell directly.”

Operation Fast and Furious was run by the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), which is overseen by the Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder. The program, which ran from the fall of 2009 to mid-December 2010, allowed guns to “walk” into the hands of Mexican drug cartels through straw purchasers.

More than 2,000 firearms, largely AK-47s and 5.7 caliber pistols, were sold and allowed to walk. The ATF recovered only about 100 of the 2,000-plus weapons. In January 2010, a straw purchaser, Jaime Avila – well known to the ATF -- bought three AK-47s at a Phoenix-area gun store. Two of those weapons were later found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

After Terry’s death, Operation Fast and Furious was halted and Avila was arrested.

At the hearing on Thursday, Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R_Calif.) asked Inspector General Horowitz: “Kevin O’Reilly. Could you tell us a little bit about your effort to reach out to Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House national security team?

Horowitz said: “We reached out to his lawyer, requested an interview. We have no basis to compel interviews from individuals who work outside the Department of Justice. He was not working in the Department of Justice so we had to ask for a voluntary interview and he denied ….”

Issa: “Would it surprise you he’s been in Afghanistan. We’ve been denied.”

Horowitz: “I was not aware of where he was.”

Issa: “I’m sorry, it was Iraq [not Afghanistan].”

Horowitz: “I don’t recall knowing myself where he was, but we were told by his council that he would not [grant an interview].”

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been seeking to interview O’Reilly for more than year. According to CBS News, the White House disclosed in the fall of 2011 that O’Reilly had been reassigned from the National Security Staff to a position with the State Department in Iraq.

O’Reilly’s attorney reportedly said that his client would agree to a telephone interview with the committee but only if the White House said okay. White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has stated that O’Reilly will not be permitted to give an interview.

CBS reported, “citing Executive Branch confidentiality interests, Ruemmler said, ‘There is an insufficient basis to support the request to interview Mr. O'Reilly.’”

Michael W. Chapman contributed to this report.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; Mexico
KEYWORDS: atf; banglist; dea; dhs; doj; ericholder; fastandfurious; fbi; gunrunner; gunwalker; holder; ice; igfandfreport; igreport; murdergate; obama; secondamendment

1 posted on 09/20/2012 3:57:27 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
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To: Hunton Peck

The very definition of the term “obfuscation”.

Of cource, “mendacity” works very nearly as well.

It is the Mushroom Cultivation plan. Keep ‘em in the dark and covered up with horse s#!+.


2 posted on 09/20/2012 4:02:49 PM PDT by alloysteel (Something like 95% of the personal woe in this world is self-induced.)
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To: Hunton Peck; Joe Brower; Travis McGee; LucyT; vette6387; MetaThought; 60Gunner; XHogPilot; ...

“O’Reilly’s attorney reportedly said that his client would agree to a telephone interview with the committee but only if the White House said okay. White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has stated that O’Reilly will not be permitted to give an interview.”

Half-a$$ed report. Horowitz missing in action on this. How could he ‘exonerate’ holder without the facts???


3 posted on 09/20/2012 4:03:03 PM PDT by MestaMachine (obama kills and bo stinks)
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To: Hunton Peck

By the time 0bama leaves office the likes of Al Capone could be president and every time he broke the law the country would just shrug it off and go on with life.


4 posted on 09/20/2012 4:06:44 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Hunton Peck
The headlines said that the probe cleared Holder. Another lie. The so called extensive investigation was not an investigation at all. The did not pursue leads. They did not look at relevant documents. They did not interview participants in the program. Another lie by the Obama Administration and the MSM.
5 posted on 09/20/2012 4:10:56 PM PDT by detective
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To: Hunton Peck

Michael Horowitz should RESIGN in DISGRACE!!! What a FARCE he is. ALL the evidence is ther, but he is TOO BLIND to see it....just like those other Democrats.


6 posted on 09/20/2012 4:13:20 PM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: alloysteel

Try “obstruction of justice”.

In the Valerie Plame fiasco W was forced by rabid media to force all government players to waive their personal 5th amendment privileges etc and executive privilege and to talk to the special counsel Fitzgerald. It was only where Scooter Libby made inconsistent statements to a reporter that he was charged with perjury and the Washington DC demographic jury nailed him to the cross. He was even forced to waived multiple times the reporter’s goal of protecting her source. She got out of jail when he did so, and she immediately ratted him out. I think Chris Matthews also drove some spikes through his feet.

Compare this to O saying hell no they can’t have documents or speak to our people, and hell no we will not cooperate, and media is just totally SILENT while a border guard is dead along with countless Mexicans. Also a determined attempt to vititate the 2nd amendment goes unpunished. Talk about impeachable!


7 posted on 09/20/2012 4:16:38 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: Ann Archy

Maybe they all have been paid off?


8 posted on 09/20/2012 4:18:02 PM PDT by Internet Walnut
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To: Hunton Peck

Impeachment is becoming a much more attractive option.


9 posted on 09/20/2012 4:18:52 PM PDT by SERKIT ("Blazing Saddles" explains it all.......)
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To: Internet Walnut

Democrats don;t have to be paid off to LIE....it’s what they do BEST!!


10 posted on 09/20/2012 4:19:40 PM PDT by Ann Archy ( ABORTION...the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Hunton Peck
"The White House’s refusal to release communications related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking program and the refusal of a White House official to be interviewed about the matter “made it impossible” for the inspector general (IG) of the Justice Department to “pursue that aspect of the case,” the IG, Michael Horowitz, testified. "

News that will be CENSORED by the New York Times.

11 posted on 09/20/2012 4:23:19 PM PDT by cookcounty (Kagan and Sotomayor side with Joe Wilson: -------Obama DID lie!)
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To: Hunton Peck

Horowitz must be getting ready to retire.


12 posted on 09/20/2012 4:29:46 PM PDT by arrogantsob (The Disaster MUST Go. Sarah herself supports Romney.)
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To: Hunton Peck

Think the GOP weenies have the guts and spines to pursue this? Fat chance. The GOP swine are useless dweebs.


13 posted on 09/20/2012 4:30:24 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: Hunton Peck
He should not have issued a report if he could not get the facts.

This is like an auditor issuing a clean audit report even though he was not allowed to look at the books.

14 posted on 09/20/2012 4:49:04 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; All
He should not have issued a report if he could not get the facts.

The Obama administration has been using his internal investigation as a reason for not coming forward with facts for a year and a half. His internal investigation, which conveniently could not go after anyone outside the DOJ, and had severe conflicts of interest inside the DOJ, has been one big stalling tactic. At least the administration does not have it any longer to hide behind.

15 posted on 09/20/2012 5:07:16 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: MasterGunner01
Think the GOP weenies have the guts and spines to pursue this? Fat chance. The GOP swine are useless dweebs.

Want the GOP to have spines? Give them as much media coverage as the MSM gives to the left, and they will have plenty of spines.

This has always been about the MSM vs the new media.

16 posted on 09/20/2012 5:09:03 PM PDT by marktwain
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To: Hunton Peck

Like Hitler writing `Mein Kampf’ Democrats warn us of what they plan to do before they begin doing it:
Zero’s was to be the “most transparent administration ever,” remember?
And Clinton said his would be the “most ethical administration ever.”

Getting any information—public info.—from these people over the last four years has been like pulling teeth. Good riddance to bad rubbish.


17 posted on 09/20/2012 5:14:05 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: marktwain
He should not have issued a report if he could not get the facts.

Absolutely correct!

I remember back in late 1990's , I believe,Senator Thompson abruptly aborted a hearing, saying something like" Well it's clear all th witnesses are stalling and not telling the truth, so this hearing is closed".

Clinton was constantly spouting," I can't talk about this because it's under investigation".

18 posted on 09/20/2012 5:14:57 PM PDT by timestax (Why not drug tests for the President AND all White Hut staff ? ? ?)
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To: marktwain
Instead of backing GOP members that have the guts to speak out and do what is right, the so-called Republican “leadership” joins with the Donkeys and MSM to silence their own, intimidate them, and engage in the politics of personal destruction.
19 posted on 09/20/2012 5:17:08 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: MestaMachine
How could he ‘exonerate’ holder without the facts???

Horowitz didn't 'exonerate' Holder in his report. He simply stated that he uncovered no evidence that implicated Holder. Not quite the same thing.

'Exonerate' is the MSM's word...

The House investigation remains active; a court case is proceeding with respect to the "executive privilege" claim.

Issa isn't done yet.

20 posted on 09/20/2012 5:44:20 PM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA; Ignorance on parade.)
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To: Hunton Peck

So, as far as we know, Obama could have personally initiated the program. Private face-to-face conversation between Obama and Holder to get it started, then a private face-to-face conversation between Holder and an underling to get it into operation. Nothing for investigators to put their hands on. But their secretiveness about the documents suggests that there is something damaging in them.


21 posted on 09/20/2012 6:18:49 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Hunton Peck
Who started Fast & Furious?

Who signed off on it first?

Almost two years and they can't find that out? Fire them all for incompetence.


22 posted on 09/20/2012 6:55:03 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: Hunton Peck

If there has been no ‘verdict’ rendered, can this all be re-ioened under Romney & a new Justice Department??


23 posted on 09/20/2012 8:01:50 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: ridesthemiles

I see no reason why not (other than the usual Establishment Republicans’ squeamishness about such things). There’s certainly no double-jeopardy bar without a criminal trial.


24 posted on 09/20/2012 8:11:23 PM PDT by Hunton Peck ("Blasphemy" is to Islam as "swiftboating" is to Democrats: The speaking of truth to liars.)
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To: MasterGunner01

We have some house cleaning to do.


25 posted on 09/20/2012 8:19:35 PM PDT by marktwain
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