WASHINGTON - The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is using a subpoena to request specific documents from Attorney General Eric Holder pertaining to the ATF’s controversial Fast and Furious case.
“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” said Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
“The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth,” he said.
Issa recently told the ABC15 investigators Holder would also eventually be called to testfiy during a joint hearing in front of his committee and the House Judiciary Committee. At this time, there is no hearing set.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RESPONDS TO SUBPOENA
In response to the subpoena, Department of Justice officials said the DOJ has provided thousands of documents and many officials for interviews and testimony over the last several months.
"We've made clear from the beginning that the Department intends to work with the Committee to answer legitimate questions," said Tracy Schmaler, a Department of Justice spokesperson.
"However, this subpoena shows that Chairman Issa is more interested in generating headlines than in real oversight important to the American people," she said.
Schmaler referred to a letter sent by the Attorney General to the Congressional leaders investigating the Fast and Furious case last week, in which the Attorney General said, "…Much has been made in the past few days about my congressional testimony earlier this year regarding Fast and Furious. My testimony was truthful and accurate and I have been consistent on this point throughout. I have no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious or of hearing its name prior to the public controversy about it."
RANKING MEMBER RESPONSE
Meanwhile, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement calling the subpoena a "deep-sea fishing expedition and a gross abuse of the Committee's authority."
“As I have said all along, Fast and Furious was a terrible mistake with tragic consequences,” said Cummings. “The Committee is right to investigate what went wrong and why, but we must do so in a fair and responsible manner.”
“This subpoena is a deep-sea fishing expedition and a gross abuse of the Committee’s authority. It demands tens of thousands of pages of highly sensitive law enforcement and national security materials that have never been requested before and are completely unrelated to Operation Fast and Furious,” said Cummings. “Rather than legitimate fact-gathering, this looks more like a political stunt.”
HOLDER'S TESTIMONY QUESTIONED
Last week, some Republican Congressional leaders called for the Holder's resignation after internal memos surfaced suggesting he knew or should have known about the ATF’s controversial Fast and Furious case much earlier than he testified.
Holder said he had only recently learned of the case when he testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee in May 2011.
However, Republican Congressional leaders revealed memos written to Holder from the National Drug Intelligence Center in July and August 2010 in which the Fast and Furious case had been mentioned.
“The recently published documents that directly link Mr. Holder to Fast and Furious have convinced me that he is either lying or grossly incompetent,” said Raul Labrador, (R-Idaho), who called for Holder's resignation.
THE CASE HISTORY
In June, the ABC15 Investigators revealed documents showing guns connected to the Fast and Furious case turned up at drug-related crime scenes, including “large-scale” marijuana trafficking operations in Phoenix and Glendale.
The ABC15 Investigators also linked an additional 43 weapons , recovered during a Phoenix DEA traffic stop, to the case.
For months, Congressional investigators have been trying to determine who was responsible for developing the strategy that operated out of the Phoenix ATF field office.
Click 'next page' to read the subpoena in its entirety
According to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the subpoena is asking for the following items:
1. All communications referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious, the Jacob Chambers case, or any Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) firearms trafficking case based in Phoenix, Arizona, to or from the following individuals:
a. Eric Holder Jr., Attorney General;
b. David Ogden, Former Deputy Attorney General;
c. Gary Grindler, Office of the Attorney General and former Acting Deputy Attorney General;
d. James Cole, Deputy Attorney General;
e. Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General;
f. Ronald Weich, Assistant Attorney General;
g. Kenneth Blanco, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;
h. Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;
i. John Keeney, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;
j. Bruce Swartz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General;
k. Matt Axelrod, Associate Deputy Attorney General;
l. Ed Siskel, former Associate Deputy Attorney General;
m. Brad Smith, Office of the Deputy Attorney General;
n. Kevin Carwile, Section Chief, Capital Case Unit, Criminal Division;
o. Joseph Cooley, Criminal Fraud Section, Criminal Division; and,
p. James Trusty, Acting Chief, Organized Crime and Gang Section.
2. All communications between and among Department of Justice (DOJ) employees and Executive Office of the President employees, including but not limited to Associate Communications Director Eric Schultz, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any other firearms trafficking cases.
3. All communications between DOJ employees and Executive Office of the President employees referring or relating to the President’s March 22, 2011 interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision.
4. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) failed to interdict weapons that had been illegally purchased or transferred.
5. All documents and communications referring or relating to any instances prior to February 4, 2011 where ATF broke off surveillance of weapons and subsequently became aware that those weapons entered Mexico.
6. All documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, including but not limited to documents and communications regarding Zapata’s mission when he was murdered, Form for Reporting Information That May Become Testimony (FD-302), photographs of the crime scene, and investigative reports prepared by the FBI.
7. All communications to or from William Newell, former Special Agent-in-Charge for ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, between:
a. December 14, 2010 to January 25, 2011; and,
b. March 16, 2009 to March 19, 2009.
8. All Reports of Investigation (ROIs) related to Operation Fast and Furious or ATF Case Number 785115-10-0004.
9. All communications between and among Matt Axelrod, Kenneth Melson, and William Hoover referring or relating to ROIs identified pursuant to Paragraph 7.
10. All documents and communications between and among former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., former Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious or any OCDETF case originating in Arizona.
11. All communications sent or received between:
a. December 16, 2009 and December 18, 2009, and;
b. March 9, 2011 and March 14, 2011, to or from the following individuals:
i. Emory Hurley, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
ii. Michael Morrissey, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
iii. Patrick Cunningham, Chief, Criminal Division, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona;
iv. David Voth, Group Supervisor, ATF; and,
v. Hope MacAllister, Special Agent, ATF.
12. All communications sent or received between December 15, 2010 and December 17, 2010 to or from the following individuals in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona:
a. Dennis Burke, former United States Attorney;
b. Emory Hurley, Assistant United States Attorney;
c. Michael Morrissey, Assistant United States Attorney; and,
d. Patrick Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division.
13. All communications sent or received between August 7, 2009 and March 19, 2011 between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual; Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer; and, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz.
14. All communications sent or received between August 7, 2009 and March 19, 2011 between and among former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual and any Department of Justice employee based in Mexico City referring or relating to firearms trafficking initiatives, Operation Fast and Furious or any firearms trafficking case
based in Arizona, or any visits by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer to Mexico.
15. Any FD-302 relating to targets, suspects, defendants, or their associates, bosses, or financiers in the Fast and Furious investigation, including but not limited to any FD-302s ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister provided to ATF leadership during the calendar year 2011.
16. Any investigative reports prepared by the FBI or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) referring or relating to targets, suspects, or defendants in the Fast and Furious case.
17. Any investigative reports prepared by the FBI or DEA relating to the individuals described to Committee staff at the October 5, 2011 briefing at Justice Department headquarters as Target Number 1 and Target Number 2.
18. All documents and communications in the possession, custody or control of the DEA referring or relating to Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta.
19. All documents and communications between and among FBI employees in Arizona and the FBI Laboratory, including but not limited to employees in the Firearms/Toolmark Unit, referring or relating to the firearms recovered during the course of the investigation of Brian Terry’s death.
20. All agendas, meeting notes, meeting minutes, and follow-up reports for the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys between March 1, 2009 and July 31, 2011, referring or relating to Operation Fast and Furious.
21. All weekly reports and memoranda for the Attorney General, either directly or through the Deputy Attorney General, from any employee in the Criminal Division, ATF, DEA, FBI, or the National Drug Intelligence Center created between November 1, 2009 and September 30, 2011.
22. All surveillance tapes recorded by pole cameras inside the Lone Wolf Trading Co. store between 12:00 a.m. on October 3, 2010 and 12:00 a.m. on October 7, 2010.
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