Univision is keeping the heat on President Obama, performing investigative work that the American media has simply refused to do regarding Fast and Furious.
In a recent interview with the President, a Univision reporter asked why he shouldn’t fire Attorney General Eric Holder. It turns out, the reporter may have been asking based on even further evidence of the operation’s criminal nature.
Yesterday, the Spanish-language television network aired a special that revealed the botched gun-smuggling operation known as Fast and Furious was far more deadly than previously understood.
The documentary revealed that in 2010, a party of nearly 60 teenagers were gunned down by assassins who had been armed by the United States Government. The result – 16 people dead, mostly teenagers.
Indirectly, the United States government played a role in the massacre by supplying some of the firearms used by the cartel murderers. Three of the high caliber weapons fired that night in Villas de Salvarcar were linked to a gun tracing operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to a Mexican army document obtained exclusively by Univision News.
And it gets worse…
Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre.
In fact, the report indicates that other U.S. agents had fallen victim to guns supplied by the U.S. government.
Victor Avila and Jaime Zapata, two U.S. Federal Agents assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, were in the process of transporting surveillance equipment when their vehicle was surrounded by cartel members and shot more than 90 times. Zapata died and Avila was seriously wounded.
An official familiar with the Congressional investigation into Fast and Furious referred to Univision’s report as “the holy grail”. The report also showed that guns were trafficked to other countries as well.
“Univision News’ Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different types of crimes throughout Mexico,” the network added. “Furthermore, some of these guns — none of which were reported by congressional investigators — were put in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings ‘the holy grail’ that Congress had been searching for.”
Fast and Furious Official Given Extended Paid Leave While Earning Six Figures at Financial Services Company
In what can only be described as a curious arrangement, a senior official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a man who has been singled out as a top official involved in the gun-running scandal known as Fast and Furious, has been earning paid leave from the bureau while simultaneously drawing an additional six figure salary with a major financial services company.
Bill McMahon was one of five officials named in an indictment that charged him with extensive involvement in the leadership failures of Operation Fast and Furious. The indictment specifically accused McMahon of giving false Congressional testimony. An additional report indicated that McMahon knew there were no safeguards in place to prevent a large number of guns from getting across the border, but he still made no effort to stop it.
Now however, two Republican lawmakers are demanding answers as to how McMahon can remain on paid leave while earning another six-figure salary working full time for the investment bank J.P. Morgan. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) have penned a letter to the Department of Justice asking how such an arrangement could be approved.
“Under any reading of the relevant personnel regulations, it appears that ATF management was under no obligation to approve this sort of arrangement,” wrote Issa and Grassley. “Given McMahon’s outsized role in the Fast and Furious scandal, the decision to approve an extended annual leave arrangement in order to attain pension eligibility and facilitate full-time, outside employment while still collecting a full-time salary at ATF raises a host of questions about both the propriety of the arrangement and the judgment of ATF management.”
The letter continues: “ATF has essentially facilitated McMahon’s early retirement and ability to double dip for nearly half a year by receiving two full-time paychecks—one from the taxpayer and one from the private sector. Moreover, ATF did not wait for the Office of Inspector General to complete its report on Fast and Furious before approving the arrangement. This is in sharp contrast to the posture the agency has taken with whistleblowers like Special Agent John Dodson, who is told he must wait until the Inspector General’s report is complete before the agency will even consider his simple request for a statement retracting the false statements made about him by agency leadership.”
The full text of the letter can be found here…
To this date, nobody has been punished for a botched and possibly illegal gun-smuggling operation that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, as well as countless Mexican citizens.
This report simply indicates that the Justice Department not only feels they have nothing to answer to (a mindset facilitated by Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress and the President’s utilization of Executive Privilege), but that they are actually willing to reward those who were directly involved in the operation.
The Justice Department, Eric Holder, and the President continue to dance on the graves of those that their incompetence and corruption killed.
Brian Terry is the name of the man who was murdered by Mexican drug cartels armed with weapons provided by a botched gun trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious.
He wasn’t simply a border patrol agent – he was a son and a brother. And he lost his life with guns provided by the very nation he vowed to protect.
Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi in her displaced anger, lashed out at Darrell Issa and his attempts at holding Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, rambling about some fantasy involving Karl Rove and handcuffs.
That rant made the headlines, but as All-American Blogger points out, there was another comment that showed Pelosi’s absolute lack of compassion when it comes to the murder of Brian Terry.
… the buzz about former Speaker Nancy Pelosi revolves around her statement that she could have arrested Karl Rove at any time. But if you dig deeper into the story, you come across a quote that shows just how heartless this woman really is:
Pelosi also criticized Republicans pushing for justice for Border Patrol agent Brian Terry — as House oversight committee ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings has on numerous occasions — as “just strictly political.”
“It’s just the irresponsibility of the Republicans,” Pelosi said. “We want jobs. Why are they spending this time doing this?”
Read it again.
“We want jobs. Why are they spending this time doing this?”
They’re spending their time on this because the American people want answers as to why our government was letting guns walk across the border, into the hands of drug cartels, and eventually used to kill American and Mexican citizens.
How bad does this Fast and Furious situation have to be for Pelosi to try and put the focus back on something that has been a hallmark administration failure – jobs. Regardless, it is clear she has no concern for the Terry family.
You know who else doesn’t seem all that concerned about Brian Terry? White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who, in a press briefing earlier today could not remember the family’s name. At the presser, a reporter actually mentioned Terry’s name when prefacing his question – and Carney still couldn’t recall it in his answer!
Brian Terry deserves better than this. His family deserves better than this. And the American people deserve better.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued the following statement on the Committee’s approval of a report finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his refusal to produce documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. The Committee yesterday approved the finding of contempt on a vote of 23 to 17.
“The Oversight Committee voted to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt for his continued refusal to produce relevant documents in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. This was not the outcome I had hoped for and today’s proceeding would not have occurred had Attorney General Eric Holder actually produced the subpoenaed documents he said he could provide.
“The President’s assertion of Executive Privilege this morning took us by surprise but did not alter the Committee’s conclusion that documents had been inappropriately withheld. Executive Privilege only applies to materials that directly pertain to communications with the President and his senior advisors. This assertion indicates that the White House’s role in Operation Fast and Furious and the response to whistleblower accusations has been greater than previously acknowledged. Just yesterday, the Attorney General indicated a willingness to produce a small subset of documents on the condition that the Committee end its investigation before they were described or made available for review. Today, the President asserted Executive Privilege to ensure they are never produced.
“At the heart of the Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious are disastrous consequences: a murdered Border Patrol Agent, his grieving family seeking answers, countless deaths in Mexico, and the souring effect on our relationship with Mexico. Congress has not just a right, but an obligation to do all that it can to uncover exactly what happened and ensure that it never occurs again. After the Justice Department’s earlier false denial of reckless conduct, the Committee has a duty to pursue all options to gather and evaluate key evidence.
“I still believe that a settlement, rendering the process of contempt unnecessary, is in the best interest of the Justice Department, Congress, and those most directly affected by Operation Fast and Furious. I urge Attorney General Holder and President Obama to reconsider their decision to withhold documents that would allow Congress to complete its investigation.”
Issa is trying to work with Holder but this has gone on long enough. Holder has had every opportunity to turn over the requested documents, and repeatedly ignores subpoenas, something that would have the average American in jail by now.
Speaking of jail, Nancy Pelosi yesterday made the wild accusation that she could have had Karl Rove arrested a number of times if he was spotted in the Captiol – but then couldn’t name a specific charge he could have been arrested on.
From the Huffington Post:
Pelosi has a history of spouting off at the mouth without any facts to back up her claims. Remember recently when she alleged she had some sort of secret knowledge about Newt Gingrich, that when revealed would kill his Presidential campaign? She immediately backed off, of course.
Let’s see if one single member of the media repeatedly hits her with the simple question ‘What could you have had Rove arrested for?’ They won’t, despite the fact that it would be a bombshell news story if there was an action that Rove had taken that could be considered in contempt of Congress.
The media knows Pelosi is lying, and they will not call her out on it. They know Holder is lying and they will not call him out on it. They know Obama is lying and they will not call him out on it.
Justice Department Documents Show Holder’s Staff Knew That Border Agent Was Killed With Weapon From Fast and Furious
Holder needs to come clean. And by come clean, I mean apologize to the family of Brian Terry, resign, and wait to be charged with lying under oath.
Daily Caller reports:
A document the Department of Justice sent to Congress Friday shows that Eric Holder’s deputy chief of staff was made aware on the day of U.S. border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder that a weapon traced back to Operation Fast and Furious killed him. But when asked Sunday, a Justice spokesperson would not would not answer The Daily Caller’s question about whether Attorney General Eric Holder himself was informed of the connection on that day.The documents sent from the DOJ to congressional officials Friday night included a series of emails between former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke and Holder’s then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson. Those emails show Wilkinson, a senior Holder aide, knew on December 15, 2010 — the day Terry was killed – that the weapons used to murder him were provided to a Mexican gang by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.On that day, records show, Burke wrote to Wilkinson that “[t]he guns found in the desert near the murder[ed] BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.”The emails also show that Wilkinson “alerted” Holder of Terry’s death on that day. They do not, however, show whether he told Holder that Operation Fast and Furious had provided Terry’s killer with the means to murder him.
Keep reading for more corruption at the Department of Justice…
Looks like there’s some dissention in the ranks.
Patrick J. Cunningham, a top justice department official was issued a subpoena by the committee investigating the Fast and Furious scandal. We told you about a press release issued yesterday by Congressman Darrell Issa which stated, “Mr. Cunningham’s repeated refusals to testify voluntarily have forced the Committee to use compulsory process.”
Today, through his lawyer, Cunningham is pleading the fifth.
The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico.
Patrick J. Cunningham informed the House Oversight Committee late Thursday through his attorney that he will use the Fifth Amendment protection.
I’m sure this means he has nothing to hide.
Further, it appears that there is trouble in Eric Holder’s corrupt little paradise. Cunningham is claiming that he is being set up to take the fall in this scandal, because witnesses that are supporting the Attorney General are either “wrong or lying.”
“Department of Justice officials have reported to the Committee that my client relayed inaccurate information to the Department upon which it relied in preparing its initial response to Congress. If, as you claim, Department officials have blamed my client, they have blamed him unfairly,” the letter to Issa says.
Romero claims Cunningham did nothing wrong and acted in good faith, but the Department of Justice in Washington is making him the fall guy, claiming he failed to accurately provide the Oversight Committee with information on the execution of Fast and Furious.
The report concludes that, “This schism is the first big break in what has been a unified front in the government’s defense of itself in the gun-running scandal.”
Let’s hope so, for the sake of Brian Terry’s family.
Congressman Issa responds, noting that the only information Cunningham is willing to provide is his name and title. Clearly, something is being covered up here.
“The assertion of the fifth amendment by a senior Justice official is a significant indictment of the Department’s integrity in Operation Fast and Furious. The former head of the ATF has previously told the committee that the Justice Department is managing its response to Operation Fast and Furious in a manner designed to protect its political appointees. This is the first time anyone has asserted their fifth amendment right in this investigation and heightens concerns that the Justice Department’s motivation for refusing to hand over subpoenaed materials is a desire to shield responsible officials from criminal charges and other embarrassment.
“Coming a year after revelations about reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious were first brought to light, the assertion of the fifth amendment also raises questions about whether President Obama and Attorney General Holder have made a serious and adequate response to allegations raised by whistleblowers. Did Attorney General Holder really not know a senior Justice Department official fears criminal prosecution or is this just another example of him hiding important facts? The committee will continue to demand answers.”
A press release from Congressman Darrell Issa’s Office indicates that a top Justice Department Official has been subpoenaed due to his unwillingness to cooperate with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Good to see Issa continuing to pursue the Fast and Furious scandal, though the bigger criminal is Holder himself.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced the issuance of a subpoena to Patrick J. Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. Mr. Cunningham’s repeated refusals to testify voluntarily have forced the Committee to use compulsory process.
“During the course of our investigation, the Committee has learned of the outsized role played by the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office – and you specifically – in approving the unacceptable tactics used in Fast and Furious,” Chairman Issa wrote to Cunningham in a letter informing him of the subpoena. “Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress.
“These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used. In fact, documents obtained confidentially just last week appear to confirm that you remained steadfast in your belief that no unacceptable tactics were used, even after the Department’s initial response to the congressional inquiry. Given that the Attorney General has labeled these tactics as unacceptable and Fast and Furious as ‘fundamentally flawed,’ this position is startling.”
The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 for a deposition.
The Fast and Furious operation drew fierce scrutiny when firearms linked to the program were found to be involved in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The program attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons traffickers but instead ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators lost thousands of firearms, many of which wound up in Mexico.
“…while it’s heartening to see Issa and his committee continuing to pursue those who might be covering up the truth on Fast and Furious, Eric Holder still has his job and has yet to face prosecution for his role in this lawless operation.”
“The bottom line: the wheels of justice are turning, they’re just moving so slowly that progress is imperceptible.”
At least Issa is putting a spotlight on this scandal. If Holder had any decency he would resign. Yesterday.