Grassley Indicates Criminal Act in Gunrun Cover-Up

Friday, 22 Jul 2011 01:44 PM

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Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa suggests that criminal activity could be at play as he accuses the Justice Department of concealing wrongdoing in the “Operation Fast and Furious” gunrunning sting.

“I think they’re trying to cover up now by not giving us all the information that we want,” Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNSNews.com.

“In regard to criminality, this is quite obvious there is criminal activity when our own government suggests our own laws ought to be broken,” Grassley said.

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Grassley is leading an investigation into the operation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Fast and Furious agents allegedly sold guns to criminals associated with Mexican drug cartels, with the intention of tracking the weapons and landing bigger fish. Some of those weapons have been used in crimes, including the slaying of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December.

Part of the alleged cover-up included an attempt to fire acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, who has told congressional investigators that the ATF warned him not to discuss the matter with colleagues or Congress.

The Justice Department denied a cover-up in a letter it sent to Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who also is investigating.

The “Department of Justice has in no way sought to limit the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s appropriate access to information concerning Operation Fast and Furious,” wrote Attorney General Ronald Weich. “Rather, like you, the Department is deeply interested in understanding the facts surrounding Operation Fast and Furious. This is why the Attorney General several months ago asked the Department’s Inspector General to look into concerns raised about this operation.”

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