A conservative on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said last night that he has “no reason to suspect” that the indictment of five suspects in the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was “calculated to draw attention away from the attorney general.”
In the wake of House Republicans’ vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, the Justice Department announced that five men have been indicted in the “Fast and Furious” slaying: Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, attempted interference with commerce by robbery, use and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, assault on a federal officer and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
“I think the U.S. attorney in the southern district of California, because that’s who’s prosecuting the case, is entitled to a presumption of good faith until it is suggested or proven otherwise,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who said he didn’t know the indictments were coming down, said on Fox News. “And I don’t have any reason to suspect the timing of it.”
He did, however, say the timing was “curious.”
“The thing that’s most unusual is the timing because the indictment was true-billed or delivered last fall, and here it is eight months later and it’s being unsealed,” Gowdy said. “But the explanation that we’re looking for the suspects and that we gave it a good eight-month effort and there’s no reason to keep it secret anymore — I have no reason to cross-examine or to dispute that explanation.”
“And maybe I’m biased towards prosecutors, but I’m inclined to give career prosecutors the benefit of the doubt when they’re handling their cases,” he added.
The congressman was one of the harshest cross-examiners of Holder, though, when he appeared before Congress.
“I’m happy that they are making progress, especially for Brian Terry’s family,” Gowdy said. “They’re one step closer to holding all of these defendants accountable, and for that, all of us in the criminal justice system or all of us as Americans should be grateful. That has nothing to do with the fact that the attorney general’s not turned over documents.”