Former US Attorney admits leaking document to smear Fast & Furious whistleblower
posted at 10:25 am on November 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
His lawyer calls former US Attorney Dennis Burke a “stand-up guy” for finally admitting that he leaked an internal Department of Justice memo to smear a whistleblower in the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. Wouldn’t a “stand-up guy” have blown the whistle himself rather than smear someone who did?
Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August, admitted late Tuesday that he leaked a document aimed at smearing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson, an Operation Fast and Furious whistle-blower.
“Dennis regrets his role in disclosing the memo but he’s a stand-up guy and is willing to take responsibility for what he did,” Chuck Rosenberg, Burke’s lawyer, said according to NPR. “It was absolutely not Dennis’s intent to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson or anyone else for the information they provided Congress.” …
The memo that leaked this summer ended up being an attempt by Justice Department officials to cast aspersions on Dodson — one of the leading ATF Fast and Furious whistle-blowers. Burke admitted he leaked the memo in a Tuesday afternoon letter to Justice Department Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar.
The memo was leaked to press and had the names of criminal suspects deleted — but kept Dodson’s name on it. Attorney General Eric Holder came under fire during Tuesday morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when he wouldn’t answer any questions from Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley about the leaked memo, who was held accountable for it and how they were held accountable.
Rosenberg says that Burke is now cooperating with Congress in its probe of Fast and Furious. Well, golly, isn’t that going above and beyond for a US Attorney tasked with following the law in the first place. Where was Burke when Special Agent Dodson tried to inform people of the illegal acts taking place in the Department of Justice? That’s right — he was covering up for the lawbreakers.
Stand-up guy, my left foot. The only reason he’s cooperating now is because the spotlight is now shining on Burke’s actions, and he’s scurrying to protect himself.
His former boss is even less “stand-up” than Burke. Holder wouldn’t even bother to answer a question about official smearing of whistleblowers in his DoJ during his hearing, let alone promise to hold Burke accountable for his actions. In fact, as Michael Ramirez brilliantly captures in today’s editorial cartoon for Investors Business Daily, Holder professes to know nothing and read nothing as Attorney General:
Holder is building a great case for willful neglect of duty. I can’t imagine that Barack Obama relishes the thought of having Holder hanging like a millstone around his neck in the general election next year, but I’m now convinced that he fears a confirmation hearing for a replacement even more. It’s the only rational explanation for Holder’s continued presence at the DoJ.
Be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.
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