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According to Breuer, Weinstein is now also expressing regret about not connecting the dots between Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious.
“Weinstein has expressed to me that, in hindsight, he wishes he had not relied on those assertions and that, because he did rely so heavily on them, he viewed, incorrectly, the misguided tactics used in Operation Wide Receiver — which resulted in the ATF losing control of guns that then crossed the border into Mexico — as having no relation to the allegations that were being made about Operation Fast and Furious,” Breuer said today in a written statement to Congressional investigators.
The day before the letter was sent to Grassley, the Office of the Deputy Attorney General raised concerns about the scope of the denial it contained.
“In the 2nd full para[graph] — we say ‘categorically false’ — obviously we want to be 300% sure we can make such a ‘categorical’ statement,” Lisa Monaco wrote in an email after reviewing a draft version of the letter. “I’ve developed an aversion to adjectives and oversight letters,” she explained in a later email.
The language was ultimately removed.
Over the course of the letter being prepared, Burke vehemently argued the department should more vigorously deny the allegations.
“What is so offensive about this whole project is that Grassley’s staff, acting as willing stooges for the Gun Lobby, have attempted to distract from the incredible success in dismantling [southwest border] gun trafficking operations ... but, instead, lobbing this reckless despicable accusation that ATF is complicit in the murder of a fellow federal law enforcement officer,” he wrote in a Feb. 4 email.
“Well said Dennis. Thank you!” Hoover replied.
However, guns found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder were eventually connected to the Fast and Furious operation.
A spokeswoman for Grassley said, "After a first glance at today's document dump from the Justice Department, there appears to be even more questions for Assistant Attorney General Breuer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Weinstein and former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke."