House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is subpoenaing Attorney General Eric Holder for documents related to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Operation Fast and Furious.
The subpoena covers a specific set of documents related to the involvement of Holder and other top Justice Department officials in the program, which Issa and ATF whistle-blowers have alleged intentionally allowed assault weapons and military-grade sniper rifles to escape into criminal networks.
“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” Issa said. “It’s time we know the whole truth.”
Holder told Issa at a May 3 hearing that he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” But Issa has since released several internal memos to Holder from as early as nine months prior to the hearing mentioning the program.
Besides Holder, the subpoena demands communications about the program among 15 other top Justice Department officials, including three current and former deputy attorney generals and Lanny Breuer, an assistant attorney general.
The subpoena also demands communications between the Justice Department and the White House, specifically requesting communications between Justice officials and Eric Schultz, a White House communications aide who focuses on oversight inquiries.
For several lesser Justice Department officials, the subpoena demands “all” communications between two specific time periods.
Neither the Justice Department nor the White House immediately responded to a request for comment on the subpoena.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.