It will be very interesting to see if the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has the ability or interest to imprison a sitting attorney general for contempt of Congress, which would in and of itself bring up a question of separation of powers, as it would require Congress having the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia attempting to arrest and imprison a member of the executive branch. This is more than likely a moot point, however, as Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa expressed in a conference call with new media representatives that he would call for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor, who would be given the power to pursue criminal charges that carry a much longer prison sentence than the maximum one year that Congress may impose for contempt.
Another communication acquired by Attkisson and LaJeunesse shows a series of emails between two Department of Justice officials, Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general of the Criminal Division, and Deputy Chief of the National Gang Unit James Trusty.
The two men discuss Operation Fast and Furious in conjunction with another gun-walking operation based in Tucson (OFF was in Phoenix) and a third, unnamed gun-walking operation.
Trusty wrote to Weinstein:
Looks like we’ll be able to unseal the tucson case sooner than Fast and Furious (although this may be the difference between Nov and Dec). It’s not clear how much we’re invlvoed in the main F and F case, but we have Tucson and now a new, related case with [redacted] targets. It’s not going to be any big surprise that a bunch of US guns are being used in MX, so I’m not sure how much grief we get for “gun walking.” It may be more like, “Finally, they’re going after people who sent guns down there.”
The Trusty email confirms that senior Department of Justice officials were aware of not just Operation Fast and Furious, but that Operation Fast and Furious was a gun-walking operation; Trusty used that exact phrase. The news of the Tucson operation is the second confirmation of that gun-walking operation (Operation Wide Receiver), which was first revealed in a Friday afternoon document dump by the White House.
There is scant reference to the third operation, and it is unclear if this is another Arizona-based case or one of the Texas-based gun-walking operations that was also mentioned in passing in the O’Reilly email released Friday as “last year’s TX effort.”
In the flurry of documents released in the past several days, top officials of the Department of Justice are confirmed talking about at least three and as many as four gun-walking operations, dramatically raising the probability that gun-walking was known throughout the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State, as well as the White House.
These documents seem to convincingly argue that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder knowingly perjured himself in congressional testimony. As Holder knew, it is likely that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose agents were also part of the task force, received similar weekly reports from either her direct reports or U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, a close personal confidant who was her chief of staff while she was Arizona’s governor and who was appointed U.S. attorney through Napolitano’s influence. State should have been informed as they would have to waive what are clear violations of the Arms Export Control Act, but there is not any evidence yet that Secretary of State Clinton was involved in the operations.
It is starting to appear that Eric Holder might soon find himself thrown under the proverbial bus. It now seems only a matter of time before we discover who was driving a bus that seems destined for the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas.