The big meeting late yesterday between Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Attorney General Eric Holder failed to bring any resolution to the issue of transparency over Fast and Furious, the Department of Justice gun tracking program. This now sets the stage for a vote today in the House of Representatives to find the head of the Justice Department in contempt of Congress. Issa has requested thousands of documents concerning the gun-walking program run by the Phoenix office of the ATF, which resulted in at least two weapons being used in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. At the heart of the matter are some 1,300 documents related to a letter from February 4, 2011 which claims that the Justice Department had no knowledge of the ATF operation which allowed U.S. firearms to be sold to Mexican drug cartels.
Holder met with Issa late Tuesday in an attempt to satisfy the Congressman who has taken the lead on getting to the bottom of the scandal. The ATF program began its operations in late 2009. Brian Terry was killed in December of 2010 when his border patrol intercepted a group of drug smugglers along the Arizona – Mexico border Two of the weapons recovered were identified as part of the Fast and Furious program. In January, 2011, an ATF supervisor in Phoenix, Pete Forcelli, turned whistle-blower and testified before Congress on the gun-walking program. There had even been some initial concerns that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been shot by a gun that was part of the program.
So, for the last 18 months, Congress has been attempting to get to the truth behind Fast and Furious. Who knew what and when? Eric Holder has testified several times before Darrell Issa, as well as before the Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has been taking the lead. The Department of Justice has released some 7,000 pages of documents which members of Congress have requested. But after failing to release the latest batch requested, Darrell Issa is threatening to have Eric Holder found in contempt of Congress for withholding the Fast and Furious documents. A vote is expected today and will most certainly pass in the House and will be a crushing blow to the Obama administration.