When Dennis Burke resigned his post as U.S. Attorney for the Phoenix district in August, it was with the devout hope his role as local overseer of Operation Fast and Furious would be forgiven and forgotten by the House and Senate committees investigating the criminal gun-running affair.
After all, liberal Democrats consider the “willing” abandoning of power the greatest and most meaningful sacrifice of all, a literal falling on the sword worthy of eternal praise. After such an act of supreme contrition, any notion of additional punishment should be unthinkable, an uncivilized display of piling on.
But Burke’s attempt to gracefully retreat from responsibility for Fast and Furious suffered a serious blow in Friday’s Department of Justice document dump as his former DOJ colleagues released memos and e-mails placing the blame for “misstatements” made by the department to congressional high inquisitors Grassley and Issa directly on Burke’s head. If fear caused the former Janet Napolitano assistant to throw up at his last committee appearance, any future command performance before Congress will likely result in a call for paramedics.
At the center of this latest document release is the February 4th letter addressed to Congress by Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich. In it he stated categorically that any “allegation…that ATF ‘sanctioned’ or otherwise knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them to Mexico—is false.” Of course, testimony and information gathered by House and Senate committees during the course of the year make it quite clear that the deliberate transport of weapons across the Mexican border is exactly what happened.
Therefore on Friday, the Weich letter was formally withdrawn by Deputy Attorney General James Cole. “Facts have come to light during the course of this investigation that indicate the Feb. 4th letter contains inaccuracies,” wrote Cole is his accompanying letter to congress. And why is that?
Because “department personnel…relied on information provided by supervisors from the components in the best position to know the relevant facts: ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Arizona,” he continued, placing former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke and former Phoenix ATF field office Agent in Charge Bill Newell squarely in the sights of the congressional committees.
But when scapegoats are needed, Eric Holder’s troops will not skimp. Former ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Deputy Director Bill Hoover have also been offered up by Justice as a number of released documents make it clear they joined Burke and Newell in “…[urging] the [Justice] Department to issue a forceful and broad denial of the allegations.”
So the Regime’s principle D.C. Justice Department recruits and lackeys have released documents hoping to absolve themselves of all possible guilt for the egregious lies they told congress. It was, in the final analysis, mostly the fault of those disreputable people in far-off Arizona. They gave the poor, unsuspecting D.C. folk a bum steer.
Will Darrell Issa and Charles Grassley believe this latest excuse? Not likely. Attorney General Holder has already perjured himself with a claim that had nothing whatever to do with any statements made by newly minted bag-holder Dennis Burke.
Yesterday’s testimony by Eric Holder before the House Judiciary Committee was faithful to this latest “evasion-tack” of the Regime as the Attorney General quietly repeated the claim that DOJ officials in D.C. had simply taken the word of Dennis Burke and others in addressing their early-year comments to Congress. Followers of Fast and Furious look forward to dismantling this pathetic and transparent alibi.
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