Issa on F&F report: It “showed what went wrong all the way to the very top of Justice”

posted at 11:21 am on September 20, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Yesterday, the DOJ Inspector General’s Office released their report on the findings of their (internal) probe into the DOJ’s, at best, unbelievably incompetent and reckless handling of the deadly gunwalking operation Fast and Furious. Although the report insisted that Attorney General Eric Holder had no personal knowledge of the operation until after it ran afoul, it was also clear that he staffed up his department with (again, at best) nonproficient buffoons — two DOJ officials have already stepped down.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, who’s led the pursuit of this investigation for months in the face of relentless executive stonewalling, appeared on Fox News last night to break down strengths and shortcomings of the more than 400-page OIG report and to react to AG Eric Holder’s victory dance:

“It’s a good report. There were a few things they weren’t able to get to, and they’re still looking for them, including White House officials who were briefed but not made available to the IG. But overall, what they did, they outlined what went wrong at ATF, what went wrong in Phoenix, and then went up the chain to show what went wrong all the way to the very top of Justice. … Well, certainly, the coverup goes further. …[The Terry family] want the answers, and they want everyone held accountable for the initial failure, but they also want answers on the coverup, where for ten months the American people were told that ‘they don’t let guns walk.’ Those false statements came from Justice, all the way to the very top, including Lanny Breuer and ultimately Eric Holder. … One of the critical people in his office, required to brief him, handpicked by him, resigned today, and it’s still only the tip of the iceberg. The fact is that, just because you’re not convicted, doesn’t mean you’re vindicated. Attorney General Holder didn’t ask the questions, didn’t read the memos, and up and down the chain, the people who worked for him, the political appointees responsible to him, failed to do their job, including denying reading wiretaps that they were responsible for signing. There’s no question there needs to be real reform at Justice. …”

As I wondered yesterday, though — none of this adequately explains President Obama’s issuing executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from having to comply with Congress’s investigation. Okay, fine, even if it wasn’t to protect Eric Holder’s guilt, it was meant to help protect him from having to take responsibility for his (at best) egregious negligence and his imbecilic hand-selected appointees. Jim Geraghty has more on the wildly strained plausibility of this whole sketchy affair:

A suspicious mind could look at this strange pattern of underling, after deputy, after staffer not mentioning critical information, and information getting all the way to Holder’s office but not being seen by the AG himself, and conclude Holder’s staffers were keeping him in the dark. Would that be to preserve his “plausible deniability”? Another conclusion might be that someone just wasn’t honest with the inspector general.

We now know that the best that can be said about Holder is that he was oblivious to a major, exceptionally dangerous operation going on within his organization. And the most generous interpretation of that is that he had staffed his office with professionals who had epically flawed judgment in deciding what the nation’s top law-enforcement officer needed to know.

There are still some big questions that remain – including whether this should stand as the final investigation of the subject; and whether it is appropriate for a government official assigned to sniff out mismanagement, corruption, and cover-ups to be reporting to the exact officials he’s investigating.

Eric Holder might not have personally designed this dangerous and fatal scandal, but his department and the people he hired are certainly suspect — and hey, remind me who it was that hired Eric Holder?


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It’s a good report.

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I DON’T WANT THEM “STEPPING DOWN” I WANT THE BAFOONS CHARGED WITH FEDERAL GUN CRIMES AND THROWN IN PRISON, JUST LIKE THE FEDS DO TO AMERICAN CITIZENS EVERYDAY!!

ARIZONAVETERAN on September 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

RINO facilitated cover-up.

Joe Mama on September 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

unbelievably incompetent and reckless handling of the deadly gunwalking operation Fast and Furious.

Kinda like Obama’s Foreign policy…whatever that is..

Electrongod on September 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Eric Holder might not have personally designed this dangerous and fatal scandal,

Brian Terry and Jamie Zapata inconveniently unavailable for comment.

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Yesterday, the DOJ Inspector General’s Office released their report on the findings of their (internal) probe into the DOJ’s, at best, unbelievably incompetent and reckless handling of the deadly gunwalking operation Fast and Furious.

Let me get this straight: The DOJ investigated themselves and this is their conclusion?

What would an independent investigation yield?

Chip on September 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Another conclusion might be that someone just wasn’t honest with the inspector general.

Yeah, just UNDERLINGS said, ‘Okay, violate the sovereignty of a foreign nation. Go ahead and arm criminals in that nation. No worries. It’s essentially AN ACT OF WAR, but there won’t be any consequences. NO ONE is going to check up on us. Yeah, people will die, but we won’t be held accountable’.

GarandFan on September 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Eric Holder might not have personally designed this dangerous and fatal scandal, but his department and the people he hired are certainly suspect — and hey, remind me who it was that hired Eric Holder?

And Hillary! decides against a full protection package (much less a doubling or trebling of it) for the US ambassador to a post revolutionary Libya? And Kathleen Sebelius violates federal law?

I’m just glad this gang is incompetent. If they were competent, the destruction of America would be much further along.

rbj on September 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Issa should be running for president.

abobo on September 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Nixon: “Oh, if only I were a Democrat…”

Archivarix on September 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

unbelievably incompetent

Unbelievably? Maybe in other administrations.

DaveDief on September 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

So we’re expected to believe that Lanny Breuer, who runs the Criminal Division, and Gary Grindler, who was Holder’s immediate deputy at Justice during Fast and Furious, knew all about this operation but they never once mentioned it to Holder? Yeah, right!

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Let me get this straight: The DOJ investigated themselves and this is their conclusion?

What would an independent investigation yield?

Chip on September 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Actually I believe this was their conclusion…

We did not do anything criminal, but we did make a few minor procedural mistakes and a couple of insignificant and minor bureaucratic functionaries will be sanctioned”.

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

As I wondered yesterday, though — none of this adequately explains President Obama’s issuing executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from having to comply with Congress’s investigation.

That was my first thought as well.

Happy Nomad on September 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

The notion that a control freak President would give up control of something like fast and furious is absurd.

Speakup on September 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

The IG is doing a pretty good job before Issa’s committee. The report is a good one.
His characterization of Wide Receiver is wrong, but he does say that F&F was a cluster. This Lanny Bruer(sp) guy is taking a beating.

Jabberwock on September 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Eric Holder might not have personally designed this dangerous and fatal scandal

And he might have. We will never know for sure now.

That’s what a whitewash is for.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

The notion that a control freak President would give up control of something like fast and furious is absurd.

Speakup on September 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

You realize of course that that is a raaaaacist statement… Off to the reeducation camp with you…

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Let me get this straight: The DOJ investigated themselves and this is their conclusion?

What would an independent investigation yield?

Chip on September 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

To be fair, I have a very good friend who is an investigator in the DoJ IG’s office. He is former Secret Service and has no great love for DoJ, and he is one of the most scrupulously honest and decent people I have ever known. I am sure that the investigation was honest as far as it was allowed to probe, BUT I am also certain that the final report was doctored by the political higher-ups in DoJ to protect Holder. Breuer and Grindler and the rest were given up to protect Holder.

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This report is just for the Fast and Furious operation, not DOJs response to it. It is in the response to Congress that Holder has his nuts in the fire. This report does not respond to that aspect at all, or atleast what I’ve heard of it.

gonnjos on September 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Let me get this straight: The DOJ investigated themselves and this is their conclusion?

What would an independent investigation yield?

Chip on September 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

The same thing Issa encountered. Stonewalling. Lots and lots of stonewalling.

Bitter Clinger on September 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

To be fair, I have a very good friend who is an investigator in the DoJ IG’s office. He is former Secret Service and has no great love for DoJ, and he is one of the most scrupulously honest and decent people I have ever known. I am sure that the investigation was honest as far as it was allowed to probe, BUT I am also certain that the final report was doctored by the political higher-ups in DoJ to protect Holder. Breuer and Grindler and the rest were given up to protect Holder.

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM

<blockquote>Corruption can be pretty clearly defined as putting the Fox in charge of security at the Hen-house and then allowing the Fox to investigate himself when the Hen’s come up missing. Likewise stupidity can equally be defined by believing the Fox when he comes to you, still covered in blood and feathers and asserts that he is 100 percent innocent, but he may have made a few minor procedural mistakes and a couple of insignificant and minor bureaucratic functionaries will be sanctioned.

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

As Glenn Reynolds said yesterday, I hope the Romney Justice Department will take a closer look at this.

Moesart on September 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

AND remember, BHO issued extended executive privlage over Holder’s response. While it is still being debated if BHO’s actions are legal, if Holder is not involved, then execpriv is moot on its face.

gonnjos on September 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM

As Glenn Reynolds said yesterday, I hope the Romney Justice Department will take a closer look at this.

Moesart on September 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Indeed

workingclass artist on September 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

further proof that the gope is corrupt. from the top down. the first tear out of the smokers eyeball clued me in. the fix is in.

thans for nothing gope.

renalin on September 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Understand what you’re saying, but please re-read my comment to see what I was. I was simply saying that I know the caliber of people in the IG’s office and am sure that their investigation was scrupulous and honest to the extent they were allowed to probe.. Any shortfalls in the final report are not the fault of the investigators, but political higher-ups interference or obsfucation.

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Did President Valerie Jarrett issue the Exec Privilege hoping to keep the contempt of Congress vote from happening?

d1carter on September 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM

This Lanny Bruer(sp) guy is taking a beating.

Jabberwock on September 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Breuer is a Clinton guy. I think he was Bill’s lawyer for the impeachment.

If he’s the fall guy for this, then they may find a way to lay it at Hillary’s feet.

teke184 on September 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Understand what you’re saying, but please re-read my comment to see what I was. I was simply saying that I know the caliber of people in the IG’s office and am sure that their investigation was scrupulous and honest to the extent they were allowed to probe.. Any shortfalls in the final report are not the fault of the investigators, but political higher-ups interference or obsfucation.

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

It does not matter in the slightest how scrupulous and honest the investigators in the DOJ are. That’s the part you need to understand. Appearance of conflict of interest. If those individuals were as scrupulous and honest as you assert, should they not have had the moral stature to refuse to investigate themselves because of the obvious appearance of conflict of interest?

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I like what I heard on the radio…exusing Holder is like being pulled over for speeding and giving tickets to all of the passengers and not the driver.

right2bright on September 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Let that be a lesson for our children and future generations.

Whey you make a bad decision, the best thing to do is lie about it and deny responsibility. When pressured, keep lying. Hide or destroy the evidence. Seek intervention and protection from any and all risks.

I’ve never been more proud of my country.

connertown on September 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I’d really be more interested in discussing the polls of the last few days. When you are done vacuuming and listening to call me maybe dance mixes could you tippy type one up so we can see how well things are going?

tommyhawk on September 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

We will never find out what happened and who was in control as long as we let fall-guys be quietly dismissed, off to new jobs working for one of the democratics’ favorite Nazi stooge George Soros’s foundations.

We have to put them in serious legal jeopardy before we can expect them to talk. That means some kind of accessory to murder, or an illegal gunrunning charge.

slickwillie2001 on September 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The buck stops nowhere. In fact, it disappears completely by virtue of George Bushdidit having once been president.

stout77 on September 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I’d really be more interested in discussing the polls of the last few days. When you are done vacuuming and listening to call me maybe dance mixes could you tippy type one up so we can see how well things are going?

tommyhawk on September 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

We see exactly how well things are going and have had enough of it. And I am not talking about a political campaign.

You point to polls when you should be listing grand accomplishments. I wonder why the dearth? Could it be that results are not your Dear Leader’s strong suit?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 20, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Executive privilege now.
Pardons after November 6th.

Carnac on September 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM

It does not matter in the slightest how scrupulous and honest the investigators in the DOJ are. That’s the part you need to understand. Appearance of conflict of interest. If those individuals were as scrupulous and honest as you assert, should they not have had the moral stature to refuse to investigate themselves because of the obvious appearance of conflict of interest?

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Of course it matters! If the investigators are obviously corrupt and political hacks, then the investigation is worthless. My point is that the investigation only went as far as the investigators were allowed to go and that the final report was likely “massaged” by political higher ups. From a perception point of view, would an Independent Counsel have been the better approah? Of course; howver, this president wasn’t about to appoint one, so we’re left with the IG. What you need to understand is that the IG investigators were investigating the ATF, DEA, and the Justice Dept. Criminal Division. They were not investigating themselves, i.e the IG’s office. Their job is to conduct these types of investigations, so they would be professionally and morally wrong to refuse to do it. Please believe me when I tell you from personal knowledge and experience that there is no love lost at all between the IG people and the rest of DoJ.

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Get used to this, folks. We live in an Obamanation now where we are lied to every day about any subject that comes up, guns are given to foreign criminals, people die, the costs for Ocare go up along with the national debt, we sink deeper into a depression, our money if we still have any is worthless, we’ll all have windmills for power and all the bike paths we need. As long as the D enthusiasm is up along with the empty chair’s poll numbers, life is good.

Kissmygrits on September 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

47 days!

Kissmygrits on September 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Please believe me when I tell you from personal knowledge and experience that there is no love lost at all between the IG people and the rest of DoJ.

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Yes, and there is no “Thin Blue Line” either.

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

So AG Eric Holder isn’t resigning because he ..

“… didn’t ask the questions, didn’t read the memos, and up and down the chain …”

.. this some how enables Mr. Holder to keep his government job ?
Is there a union for AG-s protecting this incompetent cretin ?

J_Crater on September 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

As I wondered yesterday, though — none of this adequately explains President Obama’s issuing executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from having to comply with Congress’s investigation.

Well, you know, he was just trying to save the investigators some time. He didn’t want them to waste precious resources and staff looking down a rabbit hole where There Is Nothing To See Here So Stop Looking.

Because he is, you know, helpful like that being the President Of All Americans not just the ones who aren’t investigating his Justice Department.

Lily on September 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

The WH refused to turn over any docs on F&F

ConservativePartyNow on September 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

My recurring nightmare based on four more years……………

Supreme Court Justice Eric Holder.

Get off your bu%%s and vote, and drag everyone you know with you.

This has to end.

Tenwheeler on September 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I DON’T WANT THEM “STEPPING DOWN” I WANT THE BAFOONS CHARGED WITH FEDERAL GUN CRIMES AND THROWN IN PRISON, JUST LIKE THE FEDS DO TO AMERICAN CITIZENS EVERYDAY!!

ARIZONAVETERAN on September 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

…Mexicans dying by the hundreds, U.S. agents dead…the guy in charge is not charge…and we get to step down retire on a gobberment pension or transfered to another gobberment job at a higher grade level…STFU…F your investigation!…we care about people!

KOOLAID2 on September 20, 2012 at 1:16 PM

WH blocked IG from lead in F&F..? Who knew?

d1carter on September 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM

As I wondered yesterday, though — none of this adequately explains President Obama’s issuing executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from having to comply with Congress’s investigation.

Stinks to high heaven, doesn’t it? If Holder knew nothing, why was executive privilege needed? The fact it was asserted affirms not only that Holder knew, but that Obama himself knew.

tom on September 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

“It’s a good disappointing report. There were a few things they weren’t able willing to get to twist, and they’re still not making this about the White House enough officials who were briefed but not made available to the IG. But overall Sadly, what they did, they outlined what went wrong at ATF, what went wrong in Phoenix, and then went up the chain to show what went wrong all the way to the very top of Justice said this didn’t go much further than that. … Well, certainly regrettably, the report shows there was the no cover up by Holder goes further. …[The Terry family] want the answers, and they want everyone held accountable for the initial failure, but they also want answers on the coverup, where for ten months the American people were told that ‘they don’t let guns walk.’ I also need to exploit their grief for rank partisan purposes. I really wanted to get Those false statements came from Justice, all the way to the very top, including Lanny Breuer and ultimately Eric Holder. … One of the critical people in his office, required to brief him, handpicked by him, resigned today, and it’s still only the tip of the iceberg so now this things is over. The fact is that, just because you’re not convicted innocent, doesn’t mean you’re vindicated I can’t keep this circus going. Attorney General Holder didn’t ask the questions, didn’t read the memos, and up and down the chain, the people who worked for him, the political appointees responsible to him, failed to do their job, including denying reading wiretaps that they were responsible for signing is completely cleared by this report. There’s no question there needs to be real reform at Justice. … that I need to keep this thing going for my own political benefit. What else am I gonna do? I will be forever defined by this. I am Dan Burton. Dan Burton am I.”

verbaluce on September 20, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Read it for yourselves

koaiko on September 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Yes, and there is no “Thin Blue Line” either.

SWalker on September 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

OK Mr. “Japan Has The Third Most Powerful Navy In The World”, I bow to your superior knowledge in all things. :)

Trafalgar on September 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I can hear Holder doing a Sgt Schultz imitation “I know nothing!”

logicman_1998 on September 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Obama kicks Stanley McCrystal out on his keyster without so much as conducting a full investigation (into the Rolling Stone interview “flap”), but a twit like Holder holds onto his job and is protected by the White House?

DubiousD on September 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM