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June 05, 2012

Issa: Wiretap Applications Prove That Holder's Senior Staff Knew All About "Reckless" Tactic of Gun-Walking

He says the wiretap applications -- aurthorized by top DoJ officials -- demonstrate a complete familiarity with the tactic, thus undermining the DoJ's current posture that they had no idea what gun-walking was until after Brian Terry had been shot.

Democrats are sticking to their "we don't read wiretap applications, we only authorize wiretaps without having examined them at all" claim.

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco were responsible for authorizing the 2010 wiretaps, according to Issa, who did not make copies of the authorizations public because of their sensitive nature.

“The applications discussed — in no uncertain terms — the reckless tactic used in Operation Fast and Furious,” Issa wrote. “In light of the information contained in these wiretap applications, senior Department officials can no longer disclaim responsibility for failing to shut down Fast and Furious because they were unaware of the tactics used.”

The committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), balked at Issa’s assertions, calling them unfounded and mischaracterizations.

Cummings said — in a 10-page letter responding to Issa — that these top-ranking DOJ officials did not personally review any of the six wiretap applications.

Instead, as has been standard practice across multiple administrations, deputy assistant attorneys general reviewed summaries of the wiretap applications as prepared by attorneys in the Office of Enforcement Operations, according to Cummings.

In testimony before Congress and in letters to lawmakers, the DOJ has maintained that it has no evidence indicating senior agency officials knew about or approved the “gun-walking” tactics used in Fast and Furious.

Cummings's letter cited sworn testimony before the committee of Weinstein, in which he explained the wiretap review process. He had only reviewed a summary of the wiretap applications and said that he did not know at any time that guns were being walked in Fast and Furious.

Thanks to DrewM.

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posted by Ace at 03:59 PM

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