Gunwalker: Details of Coverup Revealed
Just days after Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Ken Melson was forced into a make-work job at the Justice Department and long-time Janet Napolitano confidant U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke abruptly resigned, the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious rapidly gained momentum with evidence of a coverup instigated within hours of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's death.
Also, the Justice Department begrudgingly revealed that Fast and Furious guns were recovered at the scene of more than twice as many violent crimes as they has originally told congressional investigators.
And in the latest bombshell, emails reveal that the White House had indeed been briefed directly about Operation Fast and Furious while the operation was still walking thousands of guns to the Sinaloa cartel.
Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News reports that a coverup kicked in within hours of Brian Terry's murder:
In a letter, Grassley and Issa say the lead prosecutor on Fast and Furious, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, learned almost immediately that guns allowed onto the street in his case, had been recovered at Terry's murder. "(I)n the hours after Agent Terry's death," says the letter from Grassley and Issa, Hurley apparently "contemplated the connection between the two cases and sought to prevent the connection from being disclosed." The Justice Department recently transferred Hurley out of the criminal division into the civil division.
An internal ATF email dated the day after Terry's death reveals the quick decision to not disclose the source of the weapons found at the murder scene: "... this way we do not divulge our current case (Fast and Furious) or the Border Patrol shooting case."
Another ATF email indicates that the justification both offices used to not charge the suspect with crimes related to the murder scene "was to not 'complicate' the FBI's investigation."
ATF whistleblowers revealed the link between the two cases to Congressional investigators and CBS News, saying their supervisors were attempting to cover it up.
Citing the documents in their possession suggesting the conspiracy, Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley demanded that the new U.S. attorney for Arizona, Ann Scheel, provide documentation -- including emails, memos, and even handwritten notes from members of the U.S. Attorney's Office -- that may relate to the coverup. They also stated that they wanted to hear testimony from three more Justice Department officials: Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emory Hurley and Michael Morrissey, and Patrick Cunningham, chief of the DOJ Criminal Division.
The DOJ originally claimed that Fast and Furious weapons had been recovered at 11 crime scenes in the United States, but a Fox News investigation now reveals that a total of 42 Fast and Furious weapons were recovered at those crime scenes. Revised DOJ figures now also admit that an additional 21 Fast and Furious guns were tracked to violent crimes in Mexico.