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:

Eric Holder, Department of Justice, DoJ, Fast and Furious

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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Yeah yeah whatever.

Did you know that Cain likes to sexually harass white women?

Bishop on November 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

The cartoon above comments makes me observe that since Holder didn’t read all these documents maybe he just can’t read.

Herb on November 9, 2011 at 10:31 AM

I can’t imagine that Barack Obama relishes the thought of having Holder hanging like a millstone around his neck

More like concrete shoes.

BobMbx on November 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

No intent?

What a crock

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

This guy is now collecting a pension. Nice, huh?
Bet he’s got immunity too.

katy the mean old lady on November 9, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Standard Comedy Relief Alert!

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

You know, this sounds like an admission of defamation of character. And since it was performed by multiple individuals, that makes it a conspiracy.

Time to break out that check book, Eric.

BobMbx on November 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM

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.

No, Barry fears throwing Holder under the bus because he knows the slime-ball will spill everything he knows to save his own ass.

GarandFan on November 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Will holder actually get called out for his willful neglect…the way a few of the senate gop treated him…he won’t even get a slap on the wrist

We need an independent prosecutor which dear leadr will never go for

cmsinaz on November 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

When Grassley confronted Holder on the subject of smearing ATF whistleblower John Dodson, Holder threw up his hands at one point.

If Burke is cooperating, that means Issa and the gang have far more information than we do.

Barrack on November 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Careful, any criticism, no matter how valid, directed at an African-American person, makes you a racist/bigot/homophobe. Especially in this administration.

rightside on November 9, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Also linked in this article:

During Senate testimony, Holder changes misleading testimony from May hearing

His new testimony amounts to an admission that he misled Congress during that May 3 hearing. House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz both asked him during that hearing when he had first learned of “Fast and Furious,” and he answered the same way twice.

“I did say a ‘few weeks,’” Holder clarified Tuesday, responding to questions from Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I probably could’ve said ‘a couple of months.’ I didn’t think the term I said, ‘few weeks,’ was inaccurate based on what happened.”

How about saying you not only knew of this operation from the start, you promoted it Mr. Holder. In the words of Joe Wilson—-YOU LIED!

Rovin on November 9, 2011 at 10:41 AM

When asked about efforts within the DNC to replace Holder, David Gregory reported: “Well there is no, you know, grand wizard in the party right now who can really force the issue.”

cyclown on November 9, 2011 at 10:43 AM

So, the takeaway here is that Holder is quite obviously, illiterate. Yeah, I can see that.

BKeyser on November 9, 2011 at 10:44 AM

It’s the only rational explanation for Holder’s continued presence at the DoJ.

Think Nixon Ed, the players value their own positions, more than protecting the office of President of the United States- Barack H Obama.

Holder is the weak link.

Dr Evil on November 9, 2011 at 10:44 AM

“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.

And what is does that entail?

“It was absolutely not Dennis’s intent to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson or anyone else for the information they provided Congress.” …

What was his intent?

Cindy Munford on November 9, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Ding-Ding!! Winner !!
/.

CaveatEmpty on November 9, 2011 at 10:50 AM

“Why aren’t you in the brig?!” – Saul Tigh

forest on November 9, 2011 at 10:53 AM

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.

Really. We are just beginning to expose the smelly, dark secrets that surround this plan to undermine the rights of Americans.

That Ramirez cartoon is hilarious and JUST WHAT I NEEDED!

ted c on November 9, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Lawyer BS Alert:

“It was absolutely not Dennis’s intent to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson or anyone else for the information they provided Congress.”

Of course it was Burke’s intent to retaliate against Dodson. Retaliation was the point.

I fingered Burke weeks ago as a lynchpin and one of the actors most likely to flip and squeal to save himself.

Burke is the former chief of staff to Governor Napolitano and senior aide to Secretary Napolitano at Homeland before he got the plum US Attorney appointment. DOJ did an end run around the BATFE chain of command by running F&F out of his office. Reportedly, his initial meeting with congressional investigators went badly, and Burke walked out prior to its completion due to “illness”. A couple of days later he resigned as US Attorney.

He is up to his neck in this bloody criminal conspiracy. If he is cooperating with Congress, Holder and company are in deep trouble.

novaculus on November 9, 2011 at 10:55 AM

but I’m now convinced that he fears a confirmation hearing for a replacement even more.

Nonsense.

What major Osama Obama nominee has faced any serious scrutiny in Congress? Holder didn’t, IIRC.

What the SCoaMF should fear (aside from his certain complicity in every one of Holder’s actions, from the Black Panther case through the murder of a Border Patrol agent and 200+ Mexicans) is the Joe Paterno Rule: When you know something unlawful is going on and don’t follow up to stop the illegality, you have to go, too.

Oh, wait: Congress is in charge of impeaching a felonious president. Forget I said anything.

MrScribbler on November 9, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Yeah yeah whatever.

Did you know that Cain likes to sexually harass white women?

Bishop on November 9, 2011 at 10:29 AM

I’m waiting for black and hispanic women to come forward and complain that Cain discriminates…

disa on November 9, 2011 at 10:58 AM

No, Barry fears throwing Holder under the bus because he knows the slime-ball will spill everything he knows to save his own ass.

GarandFan on November 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

I agree.

However, Holder and Obama share almost identical beliefs. Obama must see Holder as “one of us”. Not that he’d hesitate to throw anyone under the bus to save his own skin.

Issa and Grassley have been slowly squeezing Holder. I think they are waiting until they can get someone to finger him explicitly. Then they can add Obama to the list.

gh on November 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM

but he’s a stand-up guy and is willing to take responsibility for what he did

I don’t think the words “stand-up guy” mean what you think they mean.

Lily on November 9, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Reportedly, his initial meeting with congressional investigators went badly, and Burke walked out prior to its completion due to “illness”. A couple of days later he resigned as US Attorney.

He is up to his neck in this bloody criminal conspiracy. If he is cooperating with Congress, Holder and company are in deep trouble.

novaculus on November 9, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I’m sure he felt genuinely ill! Being confronted with your misdeeds does that to people.

disa on November 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM

The leaker needs to be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law…

Think “Scooter Libby”…

Khun Joe on November 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM

It shouldn’t be all that hard to get rid of Holder. Surely there’s some woman working in the Justice Dept. who is being made to feel “uncomfortable” by him in some sort of vague way. We’ve seen how well the very scary black male sexual predator meme has worked over the past week. //

Actually, I think Holder has something on Obama that innoculates him from being replaced. It’s honestly the only reason I can come up with for this incompetent fool still hanging around.

labwriter on November 9, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Barry fears throwing Holder under the bus because he knows the slime-ball will spill everything he knows to save his own ass.

GarandFan on November 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Right. Holder goes down, they all go down, Holder, Napolitano, Obama and maybe even Hillary.

The absolutely desperate stonewalling is a sure sign they all have their prints on this one and none of them can afford for the truth to come out. They will stonewall to the very end, because they don’t have any other options. If they could have said, “This guy is the one who gave the authorization, and we just fired him.”, they would have done so already. But they haven’t, which means they can’t, which means the orders came from the top and they are all guilty.

Keep the popcorn ready. This is going to be a long-running show with multiple installments and the finale is going to be a barnburner.

novaculus on November 9, 2011 at 11:05 AM

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…

LOL. Obama fears nothing. He gets a free ride on EVERYTHING.
The ultimate teflon President wrapped in a double-layer of “anything-you-say-against-him-is-considered-racism” tin-foil.

albill on November 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Actually, I think Holder has something on Obama that innoculates him from being replaced. It’s honestly the only reason I can come up with for this incompetent fool still hanging around.

labwriter on November 9, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Simple answer. Holder worked for The Clintons.

Wouldn’t surprise me if Holder’s name is on one of those 900 FBI Files. Remember them?

Del Dolemonte on November 9, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Careful, any criticism, no matter how valid, directed at an a liberal African-American person, makes you a racist/bigot/homophobe. Especially in this administration.

rightside on November 9, 2011 at 10:38 AM

FIFY

dirtseller on November 9, 2011 at 11:18 AM

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.

I agree, Ed. The bird in the hand flak in the DOJ is better than two in the bush another flak at a confirmation hearing.

truth.

ted c on November 9, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Issa and Grassley have been slowly squeezing Holder. I think they are waiting until they can get someone to finger him explicitly. Then they can add Obama to the list.

gh on November 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM

This strategy has been pursued from the beginning. Burke may just be the man who can link Holder and Napolitano directly.

Actually, I think Holder has something on Obama that innoculates him from being replaced. It’s honestly the only reason I can come up with for this incompetent fool still hanging around.

labwriter on November 9, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Holder was almost the perfect tool for Obama, corrupt and without principles and willing to do whatever he was told. Holder was willing to absolutely corrupt and politicize the DOJ and wield it as a political weapon, protecting Obama’s friends and fellow travelers and attacking Obama’s enemies.

The only problem is that Holder is arrogant and incompetent, a bad combination. He makes Ed Meese look like a genius. Now Obama is stuck with him. Only Obama had the authority to authorize the massive multi-department gunrunning operations, and the path to Obama goes straight through Eric Holder.

novaculus on November 9, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I LOVE the low brow depiction or Holder in the cartoon.

loudmouth883 on November 9, 2011 at 11:25 AM

At first I thought this posting was going to be about the smearing of Mike Vanderboegh – one of the primary investigators of this scandal.

Galt2009 on November 9, 2011 at 11:29 AM

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.

There are plenty of great prosecutors in this country who would get confirmed in a heartbeat. But Obama knows he can’t slip anybody like Eric Holder in under the radar again.

If anyone even halfway ethical got appointed Attorney General, the first thing he’d do is clean out his own office. And there’s no way Obama can afford that.

logis on November 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

logis on November 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Good point. Just the removal of the racist Loretta King and cleaning up the Civil Rights Division would uncover enough corruption to bring down the administration.

novaculus on November 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM

That cartoon reminds me of the film “The Reader”. Maybe this Obama administration guard just didn’t have a kid to read to him.

Chessplayer on November 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Burke a “stand-up guy?” I don’t think so. He shares the same ideology as many in the administration and was Napolitano’s Chief of Staff for over 10 years . My guess is he’s revealing as little as possible and probably covering for her.

Desert Gardens on November 9, 2011 at 12:02 PM

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.

Do not forget that Holder also has access to the unmentioned birth certificate!

(someone needed to point this out – - heh heh = = and yes I am kidding! Get a sense of humor out there!)

Freddy on November 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Holder was useful as a “fixer” for the Clintons (ditto Lanny Breuer) and has risen so far past his skill level Obama can rely on him to do anything Obama tells him to. Finding such a tool and getting Senate confirmation would clutter up the election rather a bit.

Holder will stay, unless impeached or something.

Harry Schell on November 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Does jail time come with the admission?

ExpressoBold on November 9, 2011 at 12:37 PM

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/9406-administration-to-obstruct-climate-foia-request

Going to say it again. The folks reading the details of the emails and documents should also be looking for any references to “clouds” and the putting of information in “clouds”

If O and his admin have done it once they have probably done it numerous times. This also goes for the health care debate and HHS and Kagan.

journeyintothewhirlwind on November 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM

The cartoon above comments makes me observe that since Holder didn’t read all these documents maybe he just can’t read.

[Herb on November 9, 2011 at 10:31 AM]

I used to think that but then I realized he has a driver’s license, so it’s probably just that Holder doesn’t do any effing work in his day job and am thinking the url history on his office computer might confirm that.

Dusty on November 9, 2011 at 12:45 PM

I’m now convinced that he fears a confirmation hearing for a replacement even more.

Why should he be afraid of that? Republicans voted to approve Holder.

Mr. Grump on November 9, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Burke talking heats up the chair Holder is going to sit in. Burke ran the show for Holder and Napolitano, this is really getting better!

tim c on November 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM

So, would Cain fire Holder? I ask because isn’t Mark Block still employed? (Yes, I know the 2 situations are not equivalent.)

AnotherOpinion on November 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Holder has literacy issues. He admitted to not reading the Arizona immigration law before declaring it was illegal. 2 pages?

seven on November 9, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Obama can’t fire Holder becasue F & F was basically his idea. There are videos of Obama the candidate advocating a gun tracing program. It’s all a body guard of lies.

Chessplayer on November 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

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

That is because you continue to underestimate his complete contempt for the American people and our constitution, Ed.

woodNfish on November 9, 2011 at 1:51 PM

The cartoon above comments makes me observe that since Holder didn’t read all these documents maybe he just can’t read.

Herb on November 9, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Shirley he can find someone over there that can read.

On second thought… nevermind.

kim roy on November 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM