This past Friday night, congressional officials received a ‘document dump’ from the Department of Justice concerning Operation Fast and Furious. Contained in the cache of documents was a copy of an email confirming that US Attorney General Eric Holder was notified of the death of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, on the same day as the tragedy occurred.
According to the report, Dennis Burke, former Arizona US Attorney, received an email at 2:31 am, Dec. 15, 2010 that read,
“On December 14, 2010, a BORTAC agent working in the Nogales, AZ AOR was shot. The agent was conducting Border Patrol operations 18 miles north of the international boundary when he encountered [redacted word] unidentified subjects. Shots were exchanged resulting in the agent being shot. At this time, the agent is being transported to an area where he can be air lifted to an emergency medical center.”
An hour later, Burke received a second email informing him that the agent had passed away.
Following standard operating procedure, Burke forwarded both emails on to Monty Wilkinson, then deputy chief of staff for Holder. In Burke’s forward, he wrote that what happened was not good because it took place 18 miles within the US border.
Burke received a response from Wilkinson who said it was tragic and that,
“I’ve alerted the AG [Holder], the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”
That same day, Burke learned that the guns used in the murder of agent Terry were part of Fast and Furious. He again emailed Wilkinson saying,
“The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store.”
Wilkinson responded to Burke telling him,
“I’ll call tomorrow.”
US Attorney General Eric Holder testified before Congress that he was only informed about Fast and Furious a few weeks before his testimony when in fact he had been notified five months earlier.
Later this week, Feb 2, Holder is scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. They will have an opportunity to grill the AG directly about his involvement and questionable testimony he presented in his three earlier Congressional hearings.
Rep Darrell Issa (R – CA) currently serves as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who will be questioning Holder on Thursday. Issa told an interviewer,
“The Judiciary Committee has multiple issues with the Attorney General. We have one issue: the issue of breaking the law in order to enforce the law.
“The oversight committee is investigating the Department of Justice, which is very different than his appearances before the Judiciary Committees in which they’re asking how things are going at Justice. What we’ve discovered in our investigations is a pattern of cover-up [and] delay. Ultimately Congress was given false information and now we’ve had people both resign and take the Fifth as we try to get to the basic elements of why and how was Congress lied to.”
It will be interesting to see how many more members of the House will join the 103 current members who have either called for Holder’s resignation, firing or have signed the no confidence resolution. Hopefully, Issa and his committee will thoroughly rake Holder over the coals and the result will be a sufficient outcry from the rest of the House members to force Holder out of office and before a judge to hold him accountable for his lies and actions.