Did ATF make any effort to question Ranferi Osorio or Kelvin Morrison after trafficked firearms were traced back to them on September 17? If not, why not?
Why weren’t any of these individuals arrested in November in connection with the undercover drop-off of weapons on Nov. 9?
Was any surveillance maintained on the Osorio brothers or Morrison by any DOJ component, including ATF and DEA, after the Nov. 9 operation?
If not, did personnel from any DOJ component raise concerns about the wisdom of allowing individuals like the Osorio brothers or Morrison to continue their activities after the November weapons transfer? If so, how were those concerns addressed?
Given that the likely recipients of any trafficked guns were so close to the border, did personnel from any DOJ component raise concerns about the possibility of those guns being used against US border agents? If so, how were those concerns addressed?
Does any component of DOJ know when or how the firearm used in the deadly assault on Agent Zapata was trafficked to Mexico?
Does the ATF have policies about creating ROIs at the time that events take place?
Why was the ROI regarding events in November 2010 not created until immediately after the ATF received the trace results on the Zapata murder weapon?
In addition to answering those questions, please provide all records relating to the following:
When any component of the DOJ first became aware of the trafficking activities of Otilio and Ranferi Osorio and Kelvin Morrison;
Surveillance that may have been conducted on the Osorio brothers or Morrison prior to the Nov. 9 transfer of weapons;
The Nov. 9 transfer; and any surveillance that any component of the DOJ continued to conduct on the Osorio brothers or Morrison between the Nov. 9, 2010, transfer and their arrest on Feb. 28, 2011.
Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh joined other members of Congress who have called on Holder to resign, as have Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association and Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
In another development, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that the Justice Department never consulted State on Operation Fast and Furious. She also said she learned about the operation from the press.
Adding to the fury on Capitol Hill is a proposal by the Justice Department that would allow DoJ officials to lie about the existence of so-called “sensitive information.” If adopted, this could give the department leeway to simply deny certain documents exist. Critics of the Justice Department worry that this could jeopardize progress in the Fast and Furious investigation.
National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea, one of the on-line journalists who originally dug out the Fast and Furious story, told Gun Week that his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for documents has been stalled by the Justice Department. He said the agency was “unresponsive and they are reviewing my appeal and taking way more than the legal time limit to do it.”
Extending the investigation into Texas gun trafficking, and putting Napolitano under the spotlight indicate just how widespread the gun running scandal might have been. In a previous interview with Gun Week, Issa indicated that he would have liked to have wrapped up the investigation by the end of this year, but as new revelations continue surfacing, the probe could extend well into 2012, which would not be good news for the Obama re-election campaign.
It came as no surprise that partisanship has entered into the controversy. California Democrat Adam Schiff launched an attack on the Fast and Furious investigation, calling demands for Holder to come clean “a meritless distraction from the important work of the Department of Justice.” He said the “politically motivated attacks” on Holder “need to come to an end.”
“The evidence is clear,” Schiff argued, “and the Attorney General has been forthright throughouthe was not briefed on the details of Operation Fast and Furious until after the serious problems became public. The Attorney General then requested a full investigation by the Inspector General, exactly what we should want him to do.”
Republicans, however, have continued investigating. Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Meehan sent a letter to Holder, urging him to cooperate with the investigation. Gun Week obtained a copy of that letter, in which Meehan wrote, almost in conciliatory language, “If it is true, as some believe, that this controversial program was conducted by local agents without the knowledge of senior Justice Department officials, then surely we need to know how such an ill-conceived and wide-ranging operation was allowed in the first place. And for that, we need your insight.”
Taking a more aggressive approach, Gowdy and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent a letter directly to President Obama, asking him pointedly, “…(I)f you knew the Attorney General did not authorize ‘Fast and Furious’ how did you learn that and when did you learn that? If you knew Attorney General Holder did not authorize it, inherent in that response is knowledge of who did authorize it. That information would be most helpful to the committee as we seek answers to this tragically ill-conceived and tragically ill-executed investigation.”
Gowdy, a former prosecutor, issued a statement in which he declared, “Fast and Furious was both ill-conceived and ill-executed, and any investigation that relies on ‘gun-walking’ and the recovery of guns at crimes scenes is so fundamentally flawed that whoever approved it needs to be disciplined.”
“Allowing guns to walk away from law enforcement surveillance into another country is serious enough,” Gowdy said, “but adding to that, what seems to be ATF’s plan to wait to recapture these guns at crimes scenesafter yet another law is violatedis frankly astonishing in its ineptitude. So, it is not enough for me to know when the President and Attorney General learned of so-called ‘problems’ with ‘Fast and Furious.’ ‘Fast and Furious’ was a problem from its very inception.”