It’s About Freakin’ Time! Federal Court Orders Obama Regime To Release Fast And Furious Information

Federal Court Orders Obama Administration To Release Fast And Furious Information – Judicial Watch

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Judicial Watch announced today that on July 18, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) must turn over to the organization a “Vaughn index” of all requested Operation Fast and Furious materials from the June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). Judicial Watch sought all of the documents the Obama White House was withholding from the House of Representatives under executive privilege claims.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates lifted a lengthy 16-month delay of this open records lawsuit. This order forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time and by October 1, 2014, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The ruling can be found here.

The DOJ opposed the Judicial Watch action, claiming it would interfere with the department’s continuing litigation with the House Oversight Committee concerning these Fast and Furious documents subpoenaed in October 2011. In September 2012, Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents. In the July 2014 opinion overruling the Obama Justice Department’s request for an almost indefinite hold on Judicial Watch’s legal right obtains this information under the Freedom of Information Act Bates said:

In the [February 15, 2013] order granting the stay, this court explicitly noted that the DOJ ‘does not seek, and the court will not award, an indefinite stay pending ultimate resolution of the House Committee litigation,’ and that ‘the benefits of delaying this case might well [become] too attenuated to justify any further delay”…

Because many of the issues to be resolved in this case do not overlap with the House committee, and because resolving those issues will not risk upsetting the delicate balance of powers in subpoena disputes between the political branches, the Court will require DOJ to produce a Vaughn index here.

In fact, the court suggested that disclosing information to Judicial Watch might actually resolve the legal dispute now before Judge Amy Berman Jackson between the Obama administration and Congress:

True, nothing in the subpoena enforcement context of House Committee would require DOJ to produce a particularized description of the withheld documents… But this is a FOIA case, and since 1973, when Vaughn was decided, courts in this circuit have required agencies to justify their FOIA withholdings on a particularized basis. And doing so here will not prematurely expose or resolve the executive privilege issues ahead of Judge Jackson and the political branches; it will merely permit the parties and this Court to cull from the dispute any documents as to which a valid, non-executive privilege reason for withholding exists, thereby narrowing or perhaps even resolving the case. To the extent DOJ argues that the mere production of the Vaughn index – not involving the release of any documents in dispute – would alter the historical balance of powers between the branches, any unbalancing would result from FOIA itself, a law passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, and which this Court cannot ignore forever.

Judge Bates also noted no court has ever “expressly recognized” President Obama’s executive privilege claims that his administration is using to keep these documents secret from Congress and the American people.

The DOJ claims, in addition to other Exemption 5 rationales, at least two distinct forms of executive privilege to justify withholding documents: a “deliberative process” privilege of constitutional dimensions and a “congressional response work-product” privilege. See: Mem.in Supp. of Def.’s Mot. for Summ. J., House Committee, No. 12-1332 [ECF No. 63] (“House Committee Def.’s Mot.”) at 21-27, 27-30. It appears that neither form has been expressly recognized by any court Id (citing Senate Select Comm. on Pres. Campaign Activities v. Nixon, 498 F.2d 725 (D.C. Cir. 1974)).

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

Fast and Furious was a DOJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun-running” operation in which the Obama administration reportedly allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels in hopes that they would end up at crime scenes, thereby advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico.

On June 20, 2012, President Obama asserted executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents the House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed eight months earlier. Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request two days later. When the DOJ denied that request, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on September 12, 2012. On February 15, 2013, Judge Bates stayed the case, in part to allow ongoing settlement discussions between the DOJ and the House Committee to continue. Judge Bates’ order lifted the stay after a lengthy July 18 hearing. Generally speaking, the documents at issue are about how and if the Obama administration misled Congress about the Fast and Furious matter.

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.”

The Judicial Watch lawsuit for Oversight Committee documents is one of several FOIA lawsuits Judicial Watch has filed in its effort to obtain information concerning the Fast and Furious scandal:

* On October 11, 2011, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ and the ATF to obtain all Fast and Furious records submitted to the House Committee on Oversight.

* On June 6, 2012, Judicial Watch sued the ATF seeking access to records detailing communications between ATF officials and Kevin O’Reilly, former Obama White House Director of North American Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council.

* On September 5, 2013, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ seeking access to all records of communications between DOJ and the Oversight Committee relating to settlement discussions in the Committee’s 2012 contempt of Congress lawsuit against Holder. The contempt citation stemmed from Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

* On May 28, 2014, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ on behalf of ATF Special Agent John Dodson, who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious and was then subjected to an alleged smear campaign designed to destroy his reputation.

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Eric Holder worst AG ever?

Bearing Arms has an update on another aspect of how disastrous Fast and Furious was

Let me be clear: Operation Fast and Furious was never about trying to interdict and take down drug cartels. It was thought to have been about providing some small bit of truth to the 90-percent lie told by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder, in order to justify another attempt at a federal “assault weapon” ban.

There were no mechanisms at all to track the thousands of firearms that straw purchasers and low-level smugglers—at least some of whom were federal government informants—bought in the United States and then smuggled back across the border to arm narco-terrorists.

New reports now prove that in addition to the 300+ deaths caused by Fast and Furious guns south of the border, guns are now flowing back northward as cartels extend their reach northward across a border that the federal government refuses to defend:

Smugglers from Arizona being monitored through the U.S. government’s Operation Fast and Furious helped supply firearms to a gun-trafficking ring led by officials in Columbus, N.M., according to court documents.

Court documents also provide additional details on the extent of the Columbus conspirators’ involvement with Mexican drug traffickers and La Linea enforcers of the Carrillo Fuentes drug cartel.

According to one of the court documents, Border Patrol agents looking for a stolen vehicle stopped Blas Gutierrez, a former Columbus Village trustee, and Miguel Carrillo, a gun straw purchaser, in Columbus on Jan. 14, 2010. The two men, who were later convicted in the federal case against 11 Columbus conspirators, were not arrested that day.

The Border Patrol agents who stopped Gutierrez and Carrillo reported that they had found eight firearms inside the 2004 Nissan, including three Romarm Cugir pistols, two Ruger P345 pistols and three Fabrique National de Herstal pistols.

An investigation later determined that the three Fabrique Nationale de Herstal pistols had been purchased Jan. 9, 2010 in Arizona by Jaime Avila, one of the arms-trafficking conspiracy ringleaders who was being monitored by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Avila was one of the main suspects in the ATF’s centerpiece case for Fast and Furious.

The court document stated that the three Romarm Cugir pistols found on Gutierrez and Carrillo that day “were bought (on) an unlisted date by another straw purchaser identified as Uriel Patino, also of Phoenix.” Patino was another ATF target in Operation Fast and Furious. Patino was a co-defendant with Jaime Avila.

And yes, I agree with Bob Owens, this WAS about getting more gun control laws passed. Think about that, I do not care what your opinion of guns is, just think about that.

Paul Walker dies in car crash

Gone at 40? Awful news, RIP

Actor Paul Walker — a self-styled adrenaline junkie best known for his role in “The Fast and the Furious” movies — was killed Saturday in a fiery single-car wreck in Southern California.

The 40-year-old Walker was riding in a Porsche GT about 3:30 p.m. when the driver lost control and slammed into a post or a tree in Santa Clarita, TMZ.com reported.

 

Fast And Furious Update: And Now Grenade Walking… Holder’s DOJ Body Count Grows

And Now Grenade Walking… DOJ Body Count Grows – Investors Business Daily

Scandal: A deadly battle involving grenades between a drug cartel and Mexican police has added to the toll of lives taken with weapons trafficked by suspects that U.S. officials watched but did not stop.

The same Obama administration officials responsible for letting thousands of weapons walk into Mexico and right into the hands of drug cartels in Operation Fast and Furious also passed on several opportunities to arrest and prosecute an arms smuggler who was busy supplying the cartels with hand grenades.

This according to a report by Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, the one reporter who has taken the time to expose the deadliest of the administration’s “phony” scandals.

Attkisson, whose yeoman work exposed much of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Fast and Furious operation, acquired a Justice Department “Significant Incident Report” filed last Tuesday. It details a deadly drug-cartel shootout with Mexican police in Guadalajara last week that killed three policemen and four cartel members and in which at least 10 hand grenades were used.

Grenades have been a weapon of choice for the Mexican cartels. A cartel attack on Aug. 25, 2011, in a Monterrey casino killed 53 people. One of those used in last week’s battle with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel has been linked to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an alleged firearms trafficker U.S. officials allowed to operate for years without arresting despite significant evidence that he was supplying the cartels with massive amounts of grenade parts and ammunition.

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Kingery’s smuggling is not directly part of Fast and Furious. But, as Attkisson reports, the Kingery case was overseen by the same U.S. attorney in Arizona and ATF office in Phoenix that let suspects traffic thousands of weapons to drug cartels in the operation that resulted in the deaths of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata.

The Fast and Furious pattern of failing to interdict the weapons flow or arrest those involved in a timely manner is once again apparent. In 2009, ATF learned that Kingery, already under suspicion for running AK-47s into Mexico, was also dealing in grenades.

“Documents show they (ATF) developed a secret plan to let him smuggle parts to Mexico in early 2010 and follow him to his factory. Some ATF agents vehemently objected, worried that Kingery would disappear once he crossed the border into Mexico. That’s exactly what happened,” Attkisson reports.

Kingery resurfaced in January 2010 and was again under ATF surveillance after he bought about 50 grenade “bodies” and headed to Mexico. Six months later, Kingery was caught leaving the U.S. for Mexico with 114 disassembled grenades in a tire.

Kingery, who in addition to his gun-running is suspected of smuggling parts for as many as 2,000 grenades into Mexico, could have been prosecuted in the U.S. at least twice for violating export control laws. But each time, prosecutors in Arizona refused to make a case.

The U.S. attorney for Arizona at the time was Dennis Burke, a onetime Obama campaign donor who oversaw Fast and Furious and helped convert it from a gun-interdiction to a gun-walking program, and who resigned shortly after Brian Terry’s murder made the scandalous operation public.

Burke’s assistant, Emory Hurley, has been transferred. Sources say Hurley is the one who let Kingery go, saying grenade parts are “novelty items” and the case “lacked jury appeal.” There’s no way to know how many died as a result of the decision to let Kingery walk repeatedly and continue his murderous smuggling.

The carnage from U.S. agents allowing guns and grenades to cross the border continues, as does the stonewalling by Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. No one has yet been punished for what at the very least is criminal negligence and prosecutorial misconduct in a continuing national shame.

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Obama Regime Run Amok: DOJ, Holder Being Sued Over Fast And Furious Stonewalling

Obama Administration Run Amok: DOJ And Holder Being Sued – Downtrend

Do you remember all the talk about the Obama Administration’s Fast and Furious operation? This was a two-year operation where agents in Obama’s ATF in Arizona actually allowed the sale of more than 2,000 guns to suspected criminals linked to Mexican drug gangs. The idea, of course, was to actually trace the movements of these guns as they crossed the Mexican border. It was part of an investigation into these cartels. Unfortunately, Obama’s ATF screwed it all up and the agents failed to actually track these weapons.

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Guess how the entire operation came to light? There was a shootout where a US Border Patrol agent died. Several of the guns which were left at the scene were those involved in this operation. As if all of this was not bad enough, we then saw the entire Obama Administration circling its wagons and closing ranks in an effort to NOT disclose any documents about the Department of Justice’s response to this operation. Chief among the people involved in attempting to thwart and delay investigations into all of this has been none other than Obama’s chief prosecutor, Attorney General Eric Holder.

There is more news out about this Obama Administration debacle. It seems that Judicial Watch, which is a legal watchdog group based out of Washington, DC has actually sued the DOJ over their continual stalling in regards to releasing documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. Not to mention that they are also very concerned about obtaining any documents related to AG Holder’s contempt citation. Yes, amazingly enough, in the wake of all of this a sitting AG actually received a contempt citation.

The immediate justification or provocation for this suit was cited by Judicial Watch as being a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request that was submitted back in March of this year. This request still has not been answered, or even acknowledged. In the suit, Judicial Watch is demanding that the DOJ comply with their FOIA requests as required by law. They are seeking all records of communication between the House Oversight Committee and the DOJ in relation to the settlement discussions that surrounded Holder’s contempt of Congress charge from June 2012. It has been reported that the Committee is working on a ‘deal’ of some kind with Holder and the DOJ…and that progress is being made.

These settlement talks are also apparently being dragged out by Holder. In fact, they have even been called by Congress as a waste of everyone’s time. Plus the DOJ is also being sued by the Oversight Committee. Perhaps somewhat brazenly, the DOJ has asked for everything to be dismissed including Holder’s contempt charge and even Obama’s executive privilege assertion.

This certainly seems to indicate that something funny is going on here. If there was nothing to hide, then why not just come out and face the music? Perhaps there is more happening here than just something which will embarrass the Regime. Whenever Obama and his boys seem to be more inclined to drag there feet and stall for time rather than defend their case on its merits, there is something ging on.

Instead of getting answers and getting closer to the truth, the American people are getting fed more lies and a rehashing of some secretive claims of executive privilege. What is even more sad than this is the fact that this is a pattern which seems to have repeated itself over and over in the Obama White House. We need only point out how things like Banghazzi, the IRS scandal, and the NSA spying incidents have been handled. Lots of lies, secrets, and obfuscation of the facts. Just another day in the Obama Regime.

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Obama’s “Fast And Furious” Gun-Running Scandal Grows

Obama’s “Fast And Furious” Gun-Running Scandal Grows – New American

As if there were not already enough scandals plaguing the Obama administration, the federal “Fast and Furious” operation that armed Mexican drug cartels is back in the news after the Justice Department Inspector General released a report blasting a government leak intended to smear a key ATF whistleblower. The leaked memorandum was apparently aimed at discrediting Special Agent John Dodson and contradicting his explosive testimony before Congress, which blew the lid off of a federal program that put thousands of high-powered weapons into the hands of deadly criminals in Mexico.

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The latest twist in the scandal surrounds disgraced former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, one of the officials at the center of the administration’s lawless gun-trafficking scheme. The ex-prosecutor, who resigned in August of 2011 along with acting ATF boss Kenneth Melson, was furious after learning that brave whistleblowers had gone to Congress and the media, documents show. He was particularly upset because Dodson, one of the crucial figures in exposing Fast and Furious, had written a memo outlining a plot to let guns “walk” across the border into Mexico – and into the hands of known criminals.

Special Agent Dodson, however, said he had been alarmed about the idea from the start, only putting the plot down on paper in an effort to show superiors how preposterous it really was. When the ATF agent went to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and CBS News to blow the whistle, Burke wanted desperately to protect his reputation. The then-U.S. attorney, who worked in Arizona, learned that Fox News reporter Mike Levine was working on a story about the issue. Burke then leaked the Dodson memo to Levine.

“We also concluded that Burke’s disclosure of the Dodson memorandum to Levine was likely motivated by a desire to undermine Dodson’s public criticisms of Operation Fast and Furious,” the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said in its report. “Although Burke denied to congressional investigators that he had any retaliatory motive for his actions, we found substantial evidence to the contrary.”

Official sources, for example, told the OIG that “Burke disclosed the document to help the U.S. Attorney’s Office defend against what were considered hypocritical criticisms being made by Dodson,” the report explains. “That disclosure occurred less than two weeks after Dodson’s public testimony before Congress.” Others interviewed during the investigation also confirmed that Burke was “frustrated” with the whistleblower’s “highly critical” congressional testimony about Fast and Furious.

Burke refused to be interviewed for the investigation. However, he admitted in his own account of the conversation with Levine that he believed the Fox reporter was working on a story that would expose what Burke considered to be Dodson’s “hypocrisy,” the OIG noted. As such, the former U.S. Attorney claimed that he simply released the memo in question – a violation of Justice Department policy at the very least – in an innocent but misguided effort to provide “context” for the story.

Neither Dodson nor the inspector general bought those excuses. “We believe that this explanation, taken together with the other evidence cited above, demonstrate that Burke’s conduct in disclosing the memorandum to Levine was likely motivated by his desire to undermine Dodson’ public criticisms,” the OIG report said, adding that the ATF whistleblower had raised very serious concerns about Fast and Furious.

Among the most interesting findings in the Inspector General investigation was Burke’s sense that he was being sacrificed by the administration. Quoted in the OIG report, Burke explained that “several U.S. Attorneys […] commented to me that the Department was throwing my office under the bus.” The Inspector General report noted: “Burke’s statements to the Department reflected a belief that he could not rely on the Department to respond to criticism of his office’s handling of the Fast and Furious investigation, and we found that he responded to this belief by deciding to defend the office himself through, in part, the unauthorized disclosure of information to the media.”

The report savages the former U.S. attorney in its conclusions, stating that Burke violated Justice Department policy by leaking the memo and that his excuses “were not credible.” The OIG also “rejected” Burke’s explanations, adding that the former U.S. attorney took “calculated measures” to reduce the chances of being caught: sending the document from a private e-mail account to a friend who passed it on to the Fox reporter.

“First, regardless of whether Burke in fact believed Levine or Congress already had the memorandum, that belief would not excuse his failure to comply with Department policy,” the report said, citing DOJ policies on media relations that were violated. “Second, we found that Burke disclosed the Dodson memorandum despite knowing he was under investigation at the very same time by OPR for virtually the same alleged misconduct.”

The misconduct described in the report is “particularly egregious,” the OIG continued, “because of Burke’s apparent effort to undermine the credibility of Dodson’s significant public disclosures about the failures in Operation Fast and Furious.” In the end, the actions were found to be “inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney.” As such, the problem will be reported to state Bar associations where Burke is licensed to practice law.

In an August 2011 memo to his staff at the U.S. Attorney’s office about his resignation, Burke, who previously worked for current Homeland Security boss Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano, claimed that it was time to move on. “My long tenure in public service has been intensely gratifying,” he said. “It has also been intensely demanding. For me, it is the right time to move on to pursue other aspects of my career and my life and allow the office to move ahead.”

The latest OIG report is not the first time Burke has come under fire for his controversial handling of the press after the Fast and Furious scandal emerged. In December of 2011, for example, the administration was forced to release more than 1,300 pages of documents related to the gun-trafficking program. The subpoenaed records revealed frantic e-mail communications between senior officials about how vigorously to defend the operation, as well as concerns about the veracity of some of the proposed defenses.

The documents showed that DOJ officials were worried that if the administration were to cooperate with the congressional investigation, Congress would press for even more information. Others highlight the general fear among those involved that exposure would damage the image of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF).

One of the most explosive e-mails was actually from Burke, who recommended sending a “stern missive” to the Arizona Republic newspaper for exposing the scheme. “Just baffling that they refuse to engage even just to protect the integrity of the agency,” he wrote in a February 1 e-mail to Justice Department Criminal Division boss Lanny Breuer, as if the media’s job were to protect government rather than expose its shady dealings. In another e-mail, Burke complained that congressional investigators were acting as “willing stooges” for defenders of the right to keep and bear arms.

Burke, of course, was also not the only top official who has been caught trying to retaliate against the whistleblowers. After the scandal was publicly exposed, the ATF retaliated against the brave agents who told Congress and the media. The agency got caught, but its new acting chief subsequently released a video threatening other agents not to blow the whistle again. Lawmakers were outraged, yet the lawlessness continues.

Meanwhile, the establishment press has continued to ignore the most important elements of the scandal, pretending that Fast and Furious was simply a “botched” operation in which low-ranking administration bureaucrats inadvertently “lost” the weapons. In reality, multiple White House officials had been briefed about the scheme, the supposed “targets” of the alleged “investigation” were drug lords already on the FBI’s payroll, and top administration officials have been caught lying repeatedly – resulting in disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder being held in criminal contempt of Congress for the ongoing cover up.

Incredibly, the violence from Fast and Furious – U.S. law enforcement officers killed, hundreds of Mexicans massacred, and more – was used to push more gun control in the United States, official documents showed. The e-mails exposing the administration’s scheme to use the bloodshed to assault the Second Amendment backed up assertions made by the numerous analysts and experts including the National Rifle Association. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who led the investigation in the U.S. House, was also proven correct.

Finally, evidence continues to emerge that Fast and Furious was in fact much bigger than the press and the administration have admitted. Mexican drug lords, for example, have said that the U.S. government was shipping weapons to their cartels and allowing them to bring drugs across the border in exchange for information. The CIA’s involvement also continued to be largely concealed. However, with Fast and Furious seemingly taking a back seat to other major scandals – Benghazigate, spying on journalists, IRS abuse, and more – justice for the Fast and Furious victims may never be truly served.

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Obama’s ATF Director Nominee Helped Design ‘Fast And Furious’

Obama’s ATF Nominee On DOJ’s Fast And Furious Design Team – Big Government

As part of President Barack Obama’s 23-point gun control plan, he nominated Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones – who currently doubles right now as the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – to be the ATF director.

Jones was personally a part of the high-ranking Department of Justice unit that first met on October 26, 2009, to create the new DOJ policy that was used to justify “gunwalking” in Operation Fast and Furious. In Fast and Furious, the ATF “walked” roughly 2,000 firearms into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels. That means through straw purchasers the agency allowed sales to happen and didn’t stop the guns from being trafficked, even though they had the legal authority to do so and were fully capable of doing so.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican citizens – estimates put it around at least 300 – were killed with these firearms.

Obama nominated Jones after he said in his gun control plan that the “ATF has not had a confirmed director for six years. There is no excuse for leaving the key agency enforcing gun laws in America without a leader. It is time for Congress to confirm an ATF director.”

According to a congressional report from House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, Jones was one of several senior DOJ officials in the meeting. Before the meeting, then-Deputy Attorney General David Ogden disseminated a strategy that became the new law enforcement platform on which gunwalking was based.

“On October 23, 2009, Deputy Attorney General Ogden disseminated this strategy to the heads of Department components, including the ATF, DEA, and FBI,” the Issa-Grassley report, released on Oct. 23, 2012, reads. “The Deputy Attorney General also formed a Southwest Border Strategy Group, which he headed, responsible for implementing the new strategy. The Strategy Group’s first meeting was on October 26, 2009, when it assembled to discuss the new strategy.”

“The meeting invitation included Deputy Attorney General Ogden and his deputies Ed Siskel and Kathryn Ruemmler (both of whom would later leave the Justice Department for the White House Counsel’s Office); Assistant Attorney General Breuer and his deputies, Jason Weinstein, Kenneth Blanco, and Bruce Swartz; ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson and Deputy Director William Hoover; the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Dennis Burke; and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, B. Todd Jones, then serving as Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee,” the report continues.

From that meeting came what’s become known as the “Ogden memo,” which contains a paragraph many involved in gunwalking have pointed to as their legal basis for the practice. “Thus, given the national scope of this issue, merely seizing firearms through interdiction will not stop firearms trafficking to Mexico,” the paragraph, printed on page seven of the memo, reads. “We must identify, investigate, and eliminate the sources of illegally trafficked firearms and the networks that transport them.”

The Department of Justice has withheld documents, details, and more information about these meetings and this group from congressional investigators and internal DOJ investigators at the Department of Justice. Many mainstream media outlets have claimed Attorney General Eric Holder and other senior officials were “vindicated” or “cleared” by the DOJ’s Inspector General when his report came out in the fall 2012. But these documents and details remain hidden from the American people, leaving open more questions about what role Holder or his aides played in gunwalking in Operation Fast and Furious.

“The Committees were unable to ascertain any further details regarding this meeting,” the Issa-Grassley report adds.

As Townhall’s Katie Pavlich notes, Jones also has a penchant for threatening and retaliating against ATF Operation Fast and Furious whistleblowers. Issa said Obama’s decision to nominate Jones is a “slap in the face” to the Terry family.

“Acting Director Jones was at the helm of ATF as many troubling problems from the fallout of Operation Fast and Furious festered,” Issa declared. “His specific decisions on a number of Fast and Furious related issues raise concerns about his judgment and ability to lead the agency.

“While I continue to believe that ATF needs to have a Senate confirmed Director, President Obama has a responsibility to find a nominee who can win confirmation and is not saddled by a string of bad decisions related to the agency’s greatest recent failure.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman hasn’t returned Breitbart News’ request for comment in response to these revelations about Jones and hasn’t answered whether Holder will release the documents and information surrounding those Fast and Furious formative meetings.

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