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  • Issa Hopes White House Official Aware of Fast and Furious Will Testify

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said on a conference call Wednesday evening that he will try to get a White House official who may have had knowledge of the botched Fast and Furious gunrunning operation to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    But Issa, who chairs the committee, was not optimistic about the effort. “Try? Yes,” he said, asked whether he would try to get the official into his committee room. But Issa noted that there has been “political interference at the highest level” throughout the Oversight committee’s Fast and Furious investigation.

    The White House official in question is National Security Director for North America Kevin O’Reilly. During a Tuesday Oversight hearing on Fast and Furious, former ATF Special Agent Bill Newell, who was instrumental in implementing the operation, said that he had spoken with O’Reilly about Fast and Furious as early as September 2010. Whether O’Reilly was made aware that the ATF had let guns cross the border into Mexico as part of the investigation was not clear.

    Newell’s admission is the first indication that White House officials were aware of the Fast and Furious program while it was ongoing. The email was leaked to the Oversight Committee by a whistleblower, Issa said; it was not released willingly by the White House.

    CBS News reported on the details of the message on Wednesday:

    Congressional investigators obtained an email from Newell to O’Reilly in September of last year in which Newell began with the words: “you didn’t get this from me.”

    “What does that mean,” one member of Congress asked Newell, ” ‘you didn’t get this from me?’ ”

    “Obviously he was a friend of mine,” Newell replied, “and I shouldn’t have been sending that to him.”

    Newell told Congress that O’Reilly had asked him for information.

    “Why do you think he asked for that information,” Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Newell.

    “He was asking about the impact of Project Gunrunner to brief people in preparation for a trip to Mexico… what we were doing to combat firearms trafficking and other issues.”

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Issa Hopes White House Official Aware of Fast and Furious Will Testify

    1. Brandon says:

      Who does he think he is?

    2. David Terry says:

      When this story first broke ,my heart was broken for the family of federal agent Brian Terry a young man on the front line of the war on drugs.apparently agent Terry in the everyday world of an agent stationed near our border confronted men equipped with ak47 rifles a very capable weapon,agent Terry was by protocol required to use less than lethal force so his superiors armed him with a beanbag firing shotgun.during his attempt to stop these men he fired beanbags to encourage them to give up and be arrested,promptly the men returned fire with their ak47 rifles and Brian Terry died that night doing his job.
      The scandal named fast and furious was a plan to determine how weapons were bought and transferred to violent drug cartels,agent Terry met one of these wayward weapons and was killed (allegedly)by a weapon the ATF lost control of after it crossed our border.This story has evolved to epic proportions and implicated many in government I will let officials sort out and dertermine guilt,but I remain engaged to keep the focus on agent Brian Terry in my attempt to bring justice for an American doing his job and killed due to stupid decisions by people who should know better.

    3. Mike Gee says:

      Would Issa just be able to subpoena him to testify?

    4. Robert J Burkholder says:

      And Panetta was selected for the SEC DEF position April 28– was that after Obama heard whispers from his
      Security Advisor O'Reilly?Does anybody smell political protection? and offered by whom ?Obama or Clinton?

    5. tim brower says:

      Yes, I hope the people that did this get questioned and prosecuted but it goes so high up and they have already circled the wagons. It will be difficult to get all the people who did this, not to mention a high lever WH person. But we still know who steering these all the long……..

    6. Brian Smith says:

      What does the email suggest? It suggests to me that there was a communication issue from ATF to the Whitehouse (possibly through the DOJ). "You didn't hear it from me?" Sounds like the agent knew that the Whitehouse wasn't getting the info that they would need. The fact that O'Reily asked for it suggests he would agree.

    7. Calban says:

      GUNS WALKED TO MEXICO; COCAINE WALKED BACK TO U.S.
      http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_18608410

    8. Disaster economics says:

      This program started under the previous Administration! Many of the people involved were long time appointees and agents not recent hires. I do admit that when something goes right everyone wants in on the credit. When a program goes bad no one wants to be the caretaker. This was definitely one of those programs that could have gone either way.

    9. Ted Kaye says:

      oh what a tangled web we weave.. when at first we practice to deceive

    10. Paul greathouse says:

      my instincts tell me we will find many more of these weapons on this side of the border but we will get the true answer only if and when we get some new faces.

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