House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has scheduled a hearing for next week that will feature testimony from the Justice Department’s inspector general, signaling that a key report on the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal will be released in the coming days.
The report on the operation is important because Inspector General Michael Horowitz has had access to tens of thousands of pages of documents sought by Issa but withheld by Attorney General Eric Holder in defiance of a subpoena.
Those documents could shed light on unanswered questions about who at the DOJ approved controversial tactics that were used in Fast and Furious.
“For a year and a half, Attorney General Eric Holder has cited the ongoing Inspector General investigation as his reason for declining to hold those responsible for reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious to account. Next week, this excuse for delaying action ends,” Issa said.
The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 11.
In Fast and Furious, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed assault guns to “walk” across the Mexican border, which meant ending surveillance on weapons suspected to be en route to drug cartels. The tactic, intended to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes, was condemned after two guns that were part of the operation were found at the 2010 murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
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.