House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said that the inspector general’s report into Operation Fast and Furious has been delayed because of Justice Department requests that items in the document be redacted.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz was scheduled to testify before the committee this morning, but the hearing to review the IG’s findings has been postponed until Sept. 19.
“He’s been getting so much pushback from Justice that he’s got a lot of additional edits to do and work, and we want to be reasonable,” Issa said last night on Fox. “We want to get the final report… although it’s been done since the middle of August.”
“This is really about DoJ objecting to things that were in the report and asking to have them redacted, and Michael Horowitz, the IG, doing what he needs to do, which is to push back to get a — as good a report, as complete a report and as public a report as possible,” the chairman said.
Among the parts the DoJ wants redacted, according to Issa, are post-Feb. 4 documents long-requested by the Oversight Committee, information that could fall under the administration’s assertion of executive privilege.
“But remember, that’s the cover-up lie to Congress. And they would like to have this just to be about what went wrong in Phoenix, rather than how Senator Grassley received false reports, how Congress was lied to, and how for 10 months, one story is being told while the truth was different,” Issa said.
He said the panel is “cautiously optimistic” about the forthcoming report.
“We want to believe in the IG because our record with the 12,000 men and women, the 73 IGs and their employees, has been good. And if we can’t make the IG system work, the — if you will, the self-enforcement in government, then we can’t make government work,” Issa said. “So we’re cautiously optimistic, but we’re going to read the report carefully.”
Next week, Issa will also be in Arizona to dedicate the Border Patrol station Agent Brian Terry worked out of in the slain officer’s name.
“Only the second time in history that a border patrol station’s been named,” he said. “That took a long time, but it took a lot less time than getting real accountability for the wrongdoing that led to his death.”