Drudge has apparently crashed Roll Call’s website with his headline, so we’re also linking to AceOfSpadesHQ who cross posted the story. Yesterday, before the vote to find Attorney General in contempt of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa (who has been heading up the House investigation) entered details about wiretap applications pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious into the House records.
from Roll Call:
The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.
According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.
Holder and Cummings have both maintained that the wiretap applications did not contain such details and that the applications were reviewed narrowly for probable cause, not for whether any investigatory tactics contained followed Justice Department policy.
The wiretap applications were signed by senior DOJ officials in the department’s criminal division, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco and another official who is now deceased.
read the rest (if you can get Roll Call to load)
Ace also hilighted something else from the piece:
The tactic, which was intended to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes [???], was condemned after two guns that were part of the operation were found at U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder scene.
What? That’s the first I’ve seen it reported, as afact, that the intent was actually murder — that they’d track the guns via their appearance at murders (and other crime scenes).
Is that now established?
How do you track guns without tracking them? A: Apparently you just wait until they’re used to kill people, then you know where they ended up.
go to Ace (you know you want to)
The implications here are extremely serious. If the wiretap applications say what they are reported to say, then it will be proven beyond doubt that Eric Holder lied in both letters and testimony to Congress. It should also completely nullify any claims of executive privilege, which cannot be asserted to cover up an investigation of wrongdoing. Allowing guns to walk with the intent of retrieving them at crime scenes would certainly qualify as wrongdoing.
With yesterday contempt vote (which, despite what you might have heard, was quite bipartisan), Chairman Issa is now poised to bring both civil and criminal charges against the Attorney General.
UPDATE: As expected, the Justice Department will not prosecute its own Attorney General. Civil charges it is.