House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa says he's confident an inspector general's report will seek to hold the Justice Department accountable for the Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation and the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
The report was supposed to be released today at a committee hearing, but Issa told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday that Inspector General Michael Horowitz was getting some "push back" from the department. As a result the hearing has been rescheduled for Sept. 15, when Issa said he's been assured that Horowitz will be ready to testify, despite department officials "objecting to things that are in the report and asking to have them redacted."
"We're trying to be cautiously optimistic," the California Republican said of the report. "Our experience with [inspector generals] is good. They're our partners in rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in government. So we're going to wait to see the document."
The inspector general's report and testimony is expected to conclude his year-and-a-half-long investigation into the controversial Fast and Furious operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that reportedly allowed 2000 weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The operation was designed to identify smuggling networks and to capture Mexican drug leaders, but some of the guns ended up being used in a shootout with border patrol agents that resulted in the death of agent Terry.
Issa said he was pleased to learn the Mexican government has arrested one of five men accused of killing Terry expects him to be extradited to the United States for trial. He acknowledged the extradition process could take "some period of time," but insisted the killers would be brought to justice.
"We're very happy," he said, adding that he plans to join Terry's family next week at the border patrol station the agent worked out of, which is being renamed in his honor.
"Only the second time in history that a border patrol station's been named," Isaa said. "That took a long time, but it took a lot less time than getting real accountability for the wrongdoing that led to his death."
Issa's investigation into the Fast and Furious operation led to President Barack Obama asserting executive privilege over some documents in the case. The oversight committee has sued the administration hoping to gain release of everything related to Fast and Furious, but the lawsuit is still pending in federal court.
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