In case anyone’s still bitterly clinging to the “botched sting” theory of this clusterfark, cling no longer:
According to documents obtained by Fox News, Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic Draco pistols — two of those were purchased at the Lone Wolf gun store in Peoria, Ariz. An unusual sale, Dodson was sent to the store with a letter of approval from David Voth, an ATF group supervisor.
Dodson then sold the weapons to known illegal buyers, while fellow agents watched from their cars nearby.
This was not a “buy-bust” or a sting operation, where police sell to a buyer and then arrest them immediately afterward. In this case, agents were “ordered” to let the sale go through and follow the weapons to a stash house.
According to sources directly involved in the case, Dodson felt strongly that the weapons should not be abandoned and the stash house should remain under 24-hour surveillance. However, Voth disagreed and ordered the surveillance team to return to the office. Dodson refused, and for six days in the desert heat kept the house under watch, defying direct orders from Voth.
A week later, a second vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons. Dodson called for an interdiction team to move in, make the arrest and seize the weapons. Voth refused and the guns disappeared with no surveillance.
Here’s the PDF of the alleged letter from Voth authorizing the purchase by Dodson. For context on what’s going on here, you need to read this post at Sipsey Street Irregulars, which has been covering Fast & Furious relentlessly and apparently got a copy of Voth’s letter before even Fox News did. According to SSI, Dodson had made clear his opposition to Fast & Furious to his colleagues at the Phoenix ATF office even before he was tasked to make this purchase. Why choose him for the assignment then? Because, the theory goes, Voth figured that by involving Dodson in the scheme directly, he’d keep quiet about it going forward if only to protect himself. Dodson, it’s assumed, realized that it was a set up, which is why he demanded something in writing from Voth documenting that he ordered the purchase. In fact, SSI claims there’s a second letter from Voth authorizing Dodson to puchase two more pistols and, what’s more, that both Darrell Issa and Grassley have copies of the letters. Two obvious questions, then. First, why hasn’t Issa been trumpeting this letter? He hasn’t been shy about unloading on the DOJ for other sins. Is he still trying to authenticate it or is he simply holding back for the time being for strategic reasons, possibly to see if others come forward? Second, if Voth’s letter is what it appears to be, why would he put the authorization in writing given the risk that it might be used against him later? Isn’t there some other way he could have arranged the purchase without getting his fingerprints on it, like, say, by tasking a third agent to write his own letter to buy the guns and then have Dodson sell them to the illegal buyers in order to “dirty him up”?
Here’s an interview with Dodson from back in March. He hasn’t turned up on the news lately because — well, read the SSI post for that.