Tags: grassley | holder | fast | furious | probe

Grassley Demands Answers as Fast and Furious Probe Presses On

Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012 11:29 AM

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With the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder now over, the investigation into Fast and Furious is still going forward and more answers are being sought.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is pressing the Justice Department about a memo, questioning Fast and Furious, from ATF field agent Gary Styers, which caused a stir at ATF headquarters, according to CNN.

The memo was forwarded to the ATF and possibly to the Justice Department a day before the Justice Department sent a faulty letter to Grassley denying any “gunwalking,” a practice where the ATF allowed guns to be bought by straw purchasers in Arizona, who were believed to be working on behalf of violent Mexican drug cartels.

Grassley sent a letter to Holder demanding to know who at the Justice Department was aware of the memo.

"It has been alleged individuals within the Deputy Attorney General's office and Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department were aware of or actually read the memorandum before the Department's Feb. 4, 2011, letter was sent," Grassley said in the letter, according to CNN.

"Which DOJ personnel received a copy of the Feb. 3, 2011, memorandum before the Feb. 4, 2011, reply was sent to me?" Grassley asked.

The letter from the Justice Department denied any "gunwalking" but the Justice Department admitted to Congress that letter was wrong, and it was formally withdrawn by senior Justice officials, CNN reported.

In an interview with The Washington Post this week after he was being cited by the Republican-led House for contempt of Congress for withholding some documents related to the probe, Holder said he is being seen as a “proxy” for Obama in an election year.

“I’ve become a symbol of what they don’t like about the positions this Justice Department has taken,” Holder told the Post. “I am also a proxy for the president in an election year. You have to be exceedingly naive to think that vote was about . . . documents.”

“As often as [Holder] has tried to cast himself and his other controversies as the reason for the investigation, he still doesn’t acknowledge the simple truth,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to Post. “The citation for contempt had his name on it because the lawfully issued subpoena for documents issued nine months ago, that his department didn’t comply with, also had his name on it.”

Issa said that Holder “can say over and over that this is all about him, but that isn’t true,” the Post reported.

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