Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lamar Smith fast and furious for probe of AG

Judiciary Chair urges DOJ to appoint prosecutor

Washington – Texas Representative Lamar Smith, R – Dist. 21, urged President Barack Obama to have the Department of Justice appoint special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Eric Holder “misled” Congressmen about Operation Fast and Furious.

The committee chairman believes highly placed officials knew all about and encouraged Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to run the sting operation that put firearms from American gun dealers in the hands of Mexican criminals on the other side of the border.

In recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Holder said he had no knowledge of the controversial program in which gun dealers along the Mexican border were encouraged to sell thousands of firearms to straw purchasers who then re-sold them to smugglers attached to drug cartels in Mexico.

Hundreds of the weapons have turned up at crime scenes; two of them were confiscated when smugglers gunned down Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry near Nogales, Arizona, in December, 2010.

In testimony before the committee, Mr. Holder said, “I’m not sure of the exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

Rep. Smith says that is a falsehood. Weekly briefings from the National Drug Intelligence Center began for Mr. Holder, “at the latest” in June, 2010, according to a letter dated Tuesday, October 4, Mr. Smith sent to President Obama.

“Allegations that senior Justice Department officials may have intentionally misled members of Congress are extremely troubling and must be addressed by an independent and objective special counsel. I urge you to appoint a special counsel who will investigate these allegations as soon as possible,” Representative Smith wrote.

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