The PJ Tatler

'Fast and Furious' Figure Leaving Justice Department

The Justice Department announced today that an assistant attorney general who gave the first responses to Congress on Operation Fast and Furious is leaving the DOJ.

Ronald Weich will be the new dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law.

“Ron’s leadership has been instrumental in realizing crucial legislative achievements, and I thank him for his tireless advocacy of department priorities,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement. “I am proud of the work done by the Office of Legislative Affairs under Ron’s watch to advance legislation vital to ensuring justice.”

On Feb. 4, 2011, Weich responded to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) initial requests for information about the gun-walking operation.

“ATF makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico,” Weich wrote. “Indeed, an important goal of Project Gunrunner is to stop the flow of weapons from the United States to drug cartels in Mexico.”

He also claimed that no retaliation against whistleblowing agents had taken place and asked the committee not to contact law enforcement personnel to seek information about the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

“Like you, we are deeply concerned by his murder, and we are actively investigating the matter,” Weich told Grassley. “Please direct any inquiry into his killing to this office.”

In March, Weich refused a congressional request for documents regarding Fast and Furious, accusing lawmakers of leaking sensitive information to the media.

A month later, Weich announced that he would be leaving the Justice Department for academia.

Weich was previously chief counsel to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and earlier served as counsel to Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).