PHOENIX, January 29, 2012―President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, had the Department of Justice dump more documents relating to botched Operation Fast and Furious on congressional officials late Friday night. The documents reveal that Holder learned of the death of Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, on the day it happened.
The released emails show a conversation between one official, whose name was redacted, and now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke.
“On December 14, 2010, a BORTAC agent working in the Nogales, AZ AOR was shot. The agent was conducting Border Patrol operations 18 miles north of the international boundary when he encountered [redacted word] unidentified subjects. Shots were exchanged resulting in the agent being shot. At this time, the agent is being transported to an area where he can be air lifted to an emergency medical center,” the email read.
Another email sent an hour later, read: “Our agent has passed away.”
Burke then forwarded those two email to Eric Holder’s then-deputy chief of staff, Monty Wilkinson, adding that the shooting was “not good,” due to the fact that it had happened “18 miles w/in” the United States border.
Wilkinson responded with, ““I’ve alerted the AG [Holder], the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”
Later that day, Burke sent an email to Wilkinson alerting him that the guns used to kill Brian Terry were weapons from the gunrunning operation, Fast and Furious.
“The guns found in the desert near the murdered BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store,” Burke wrote to Wilkinson in an email.
These document dumps always occur late on Friday nights, when the media isn’t around to report on them. Then when the congressional hearings occur, Holder cries wolf and tries to portray himself as innocent.
Holder told Congress on May 3, 2011, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” He later amended that claim, saying that it would have been more accurate to call the time period “a couple of months.” These emails clearly show that Holder lied to Congress and that he knew of Operation Fast and Furious by December, 2010.
This scandal continues to unfold and has become the biggest Washington scandal since Watergate. It should be a key election issue and should be pursued by the Republican presidential candidates.
Holder could potentially be looking at perjury charges due to these emails. However, it is unclear if his vague answer draw such action.
Eric Holder will appear on Tuesday before the House Oversight Committee and its chair, Rep. Darrell Issa, to testify.
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