Rep. Dan Burton says the “stonewalling and misdirection” from the Obama administration in the Fast and Furious gun-tracking probe is similar to what he encountered in his 1998 investigation of campaign finance law violations.
Writing in an op-ed piece for the Washington Time
s, the Indian Republican, a former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said “the parallels then and now are very similar,” despite the different outcomes.
At the time, Burton led the effort to hold then Attorney General Janet Reno in contempt. The resolution passed the committee but was never brought up for a vote in the House. In the case of Fast and Furious, the House followed through with a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder.
“In both instances, the accused misled the committee and feigned ignorance throughout the entire investigation,” Burton wrote. “These are not actions commonly attributed to persons with nothing to hide.”
Burton, still a member of the oversight committee, said it was important that Americans interested in the truth not “become bogged down by the political firestorm that has engulfed the Fast and Furious investigation.”
“Whether one chooses to discuss the contempt of Mr. Holder or whether Mr. Obama has misused executive privilege, the political theater threatens to overshadow the true purpose of this investigation,” Burton wrote.
He said the heart of the effort is aimed at getting answers about the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Mexican citizens who were reportedly killed with weapons used in the bungled gun-tracking operation.
“No one is above the law,” Burton continued. “It is the fundamental duty of Congress to find out why this happened and to ensure that this kind of reckless behavior is not tolerated or allowed ever to happen again.”
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