Tags: Issa | Cummings | gunrunner | ATF

Issa, Cummings in Showdown Over ATF's Gunrunner

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 05:22 PM

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When the ATF’s Project Gunrunner began in 2005 under the Bush administration, the agency didn’t allow guns to be taken over the border into Mexico. Under President Barack Obama, the agency not only allowed the illegal sale of American guns but also allowed them to leave the United States and fall into cartel hands, according to a report on DailyCaller.com. The ATF’s plan was then to track the weapons, but only after they’d been used in crimes.

Since that change in policy was implemented, two AK-47s that were allowed to be bought illegally allegedly have been linked to the murder of a U.S. border agent.

When CBS News started reporting on the operation, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the House Oversight Committee chairman, started asking questions. The ATF and the Justice Department have ignored subpoenas from Issa requesting documents about the operation. Issa and other officials would like to know who signed off on the decision to allow automatic weapons to waltz across the border.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who also sits on the House Oversight Committee, is standing behind both the Justice Department and the ATF in their refusal to give up documents about the operation, saying that it could jeopardize it.

“Our committee has a responsibility to investigate allegations of waste, fraud and abuse,” Cummings said. “However, despite my repeated requests, Chairman Issa has refused to meet with the Department of Justice to ensure that his actions do not compromise ongoing investigations and prosecutions, including a trial of 20 individuals that is scheduled to begin in June.”

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