Fast & Furious: FBI may have covered up third gun found at scene of agent's death to protect informant

Two new pieces of the puzzle here, one published 10 days ago and the other just this afternoon. We already knew that Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered in December with two AK-47s sold by the ATF through the F&F operation. That’s what broke the scandal open, of course — American law enforcement gunned down with weapons ingeniously provided to Mexican drug cartels by … American law enforcement. What we didn’t know until recently is that there might have been more than two guns recovered at the scene. Enter CBS brandishing a snippet of audio between an ATF agent and the gun dealer who assisted the ATF in selling those AK-47s that points to three guns having been found. Why didn’t we know that? Because the legal filings in the case took care not to mention it:

Court records have previously only mentioned two weapons: Romanian WASR “AK-47 type” assault rifles. Both were allegedly sold to suspects who were under ATF’s watch as part of Fast and Furious.

Also, a ballistics report turned over to Congressional investigators only mentions the two WASR rifles. The ballistics report says it’s inconclusive as to whether either of the WASR rifles fired the bullet that killed Terry.

Law enforcement sources and others close to the Congressional investigation say the Justice Department’s Inspector General obtained the audio tapes [between the ATF agent and the dealer] several months ago as part of its investigation into Fast and Furious.

Then, the sources say for some reason the Inspector General passed the tapes along to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona: a subject in the investigation. It’s unclear why the Inspector General, who is supposed to investigate independently, would turn over evidence to an entity that is itself under investigation.

The Inspector General’s office claims it had to provide the U.S. Attorney with the tapes in case they were legally obliged to disclose them to the defense in the course of prosecuting the gun traffickers. Krazy kwestion: Why would you bother covering up the existence of a third gun — which wasn’t linked to F&F — when you’d already acknowledged the existence of the other two? Fox News’s report from September 9 has the answer:

Sources say emails support their contention that the FBI concealed evidence to protect a confidential informant. Sources close to the Terry case say the FBI informant works inside a major Mexican cartel and provided the money to obtain the weapons used to kill Terry.

Unlike the two AK-style assault weapons found at the scene, the third weapon could more easily be linked to the informant. To prevent that from happening, sources say, the third gun “disappeared.”…

Sources say the informants previously worked for the DEA and U.S. Marshall’s Office but their contracts were terminated because the men were “stone-cold killers.” The FBI however stopped their scheduled deportation because their high ranks within the cartel were useful…

Asked about the content of the emails, a former federal prosecutor who viewed them expressed shock.

“I have never seen anything like this. I can see the FBI may have an informant involved but I can’t see them tampering with evidence. If this is all accurate, I’m stunned,” the former prosecutor said.

Note well: According to the ballistics tests, neither of the F&F AK-47s can conclusively be said to have fired the shot that killed Terry. Does that mean … the gun linked to the FBI’s informant fired it? Is that why it mysteriously disappeared from the legal record? And another question, per blogger Mike Vanderboegh as quoted in the Fox piece: If both the FBI and the ATF are involved in the Fast & Furious investigation, and by “involved in” I mean “withholding relevant information from,” who’s the higher-up at the DOJ that’s overseeing all of this?

Two videos, first the audio from CBS and then Fox’s report.