Posted at 08:40 AM ET, 10/12/2011

Eric Holder gets subpoena on failed Fast and Furious operation

This post has been updated.

Congressional investigators probing the botched anti-gunrunning operation Fast and Furious sent a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday, seeking communications from several top Justice Department officials including himself, CBS reports.


Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington Tuesday. (Haraz N. Ghanbari - AP)
The first subpoena issued was sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to get into the hands of suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels.

While the goal of Fast and Furious was to trace where the weapons ended up and take down a cartel, guns were later found at many crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S., including the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December.

The new subpoena demands information regarding Terry’s death and asks for correspondence that Justice Department officials had with Mexico and the White House.

Earlier this month, documents showed Holder was sent briefings on the operation, directly contradicting statements he had made to Congress.

(In May, Holder had told Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.) in testimony that he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks”; it was later reported that Holder was addressed documents on Fast and Furious as early as nine months before that.)

Holder has repeatedly said his testimony to Congress was truthful and accurate.

In an opinion piece for the Post Monday entitled “Eric Holder, Obama’s albatross,” Marc Thiessen lists off a number of Holder initiatives gone wrong, and suggests that the “many ... debacles stem from Holder’s failure to do due diligence.”

In a letter sent to congressional investigators, Holder said that he does not read every document addressed to him and that members of his staff review them. He also said that none of the reports detailed the controversial tactics used in Fast and Furious.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating the scandal, replied to Holder in a letter Monday that read: “Operation Fast and Furious was the department's most significant gun trafficking case. Whether you realize [it] yet or not, you own Fast and Furious. It is your responsibility.”

Holder told Fox News of the subpoenas that his department “will undoubtedly comply with them” and said that Justice officials have already sent “thousands of pages of documents up to the Hill.”

By  |  08:40 AM ET, 10/12/2011

Tags:  National, Eric Holder, Fast and Furious

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company