February 24, 2012
Jim Kouri
Law Enforcement Examiner

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) this week, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, wrote that the Justice Department's request for an extension for completing its document production on Operation Fast and Furious again "demonstrates a lack of good faith" and a Department "more concerned with protecting its image through spin control than actually cooperating with Congress."

"The Justice Department's request for additional time has, unfortunately, not been followed by efforts to bridge the significant differences between its legal obligation to Congress and the reality of its stonewalling," said Chairman Issa on sending the letter that chastised the Justice Department for its lack of cooperation and declining to grant the request for an extension.

Chairman Issa and GOP members of his committee say that they are determined to know what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and how the Justice Department responded when it was publicly confronted with evidence of reckless conduct after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's death.

"If the Justice Department cannot commit to providing, at a minimum, a detailed description of documents it is withholding, and the legal basis for doing so, then the committee has no other option than to move forward with the contempt process against Attorney General Holder," Congressman Issa said.

"While I commend [Chairman] Issa on his continued prodding to Holder and his subordinates, this case deserves a special prosecutor. Had this been a Republican administration, the Democrats and the media would have constantly pushed for an independent counsel," said former NYPD police detective Sidney Franes.

The Issa letter to Holder outlines "lingering unanswered questions" about Operation Fast and Furious including:

* Exactly how and when did senior Department officials learn the truth?

* Did Department officials retaliate against whistleblowers?

* Why did Department officials decide to move forward with prosecuting old cases involving highly objectionable tactics when line prosecutors had refused to do so?

* Why did senior Department officials fail to see the clear connection between Fast and Furious and prior flawed operations they have admitted they knew about?

* When did the Department first learn about Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer's February 2011 suggestion of gunwalking, and why did the Department wait so long before telling Congress about it?

* A year later, will the responsible senior Department officials be held accountable?

Holder, DOJ continue to drag out Fast & Furious probe, say lawmakers - National Law Enforcement | Examiner.com