Opening Gunrunner Hearing Offers No Surprises

Monday’s opening session in what will likely become a series of hearings on Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform demonstrated that Chairman Darrell Issa is laying a strategy to hold people accountable for an operation that sent thousands of guns illegally to Mexico.

During his initial questioning of witnesses before his committee, Issa noted his desire to not provide immunity to anyone who may be responsible for what appears to be a horribly botched gun sting mounted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“We must avoid providing immunity to somebody we believe is guilty of a crime,” Issa observed. “The worst thing to do is get the kingpin and then let them off.”

The panel, consisting of legal experts who uniformly concurred that Congress does have the authority to investigate controversial issues even if the Department of Justice is conducting its own criminal investigation, “was great,” according to one Capitol Hill source. Appearing were Prof. Charles Tiefer with the Commission on Wartime Contracting and a former chief litigator for the House of Representatives; Morton Rosenberg, Former Specialist in American Public Law with the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress; Todd Tatelman, Legislative Attorney, Congressional Research Service’s American Law Division, and Louis Fisher, a specialist in the separation of powers and formerly with the Library of Congress. They essentially laid the foundation for Issa’s expected demand for full cooperation and disclosure by the Justice Department and ATF on the Fast and Furious scandal.

Especially interesting were the repeated references to the Watergate scandal that erupted in 1972 and led to Richard Nixon’s resignation as president. Prof. Tiefer told the committee that the Justice Department should provide important documents. Read more

Source: Seattle Gun Rights Examiner


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