Gunwalking Scandal at Last to Get Senate Review

Sunday, 09 Oct 2011 09:58 AM

By Gary Cohen

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The growing "Fast and Furious" gunwalking scandal has been largely under the scrutiny of the GOP-controlled House to this point, but it soon will get more attention in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

fast furious senate reviewThe Senate Judiciary Committee's Ranking Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been doggedly pursuing the ATF weapons scandal since early this year. Now Grassley's Democratic counterpart on the panel, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, has decided it's time to jump into the fray, CBS News reports.

The committee chairman is now planning to schedule an oversight hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder, CBS reports.

Leahy has said, "I share the president's confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder. He has continued to demonstrate his strong commitment to tough law enforcement, transparency, and integrity."

It has been months since the scandal surfaced and with the issue heating up, Leahy is first working to schedule the oversight hearing with Holder prior to the end of this year.

Grassley's office said Friday in a statement, "The goals of Senator Grassley's investigation, from the first time whistleblowers brought him the allegations of wrongdoing, has been to find who approved a stupid program and to make sure it never happened again."

The statement went on to emphasize, "Now, eight months after Senator Grassley personally raised the issue with him, Attorney General Holder has officially admitted that this case involved 'weapons that should have been interdicted but were not.' That's quite a reversal from the Department's initial denial."

Leahy has said he believes the congressional investigation can't get in the way of the criminal investigations connected to this case.

The bottom line from Grassley's view as stated by his office is there are many questions, "about which senior Department officials knew what about Operation Fast and Furious."

The program involved approximately 1400 assault weapons sent across the border into Mexico with the intention of them falling into the hands of drug cartels.

The weapons would have then been traced to those cartels. Most of the weapons however disappeared and have been linked to a series of violent crimes in Mexico.

 

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