FACT-SHEET: PROPOSED DOJ CUTS BASED ON “FAST AND FURIOUS” POLITICS
• After a year-long investigation, there is no evidence that the Attorney General was aware of, authorized, or approved of “gunwalking.”
o In January, Oversight Committee Democrats issued a 95-page staff report based on a detailed review of thousands of documents, testimony at four Committee hearings, and transcribed interviews with nearly two dozen witnesses. (See http://go.usa.gov/VnD )
o The report documented how Operation Fast and Furious was the fourth in a series of fatally flawed operations devised by field agents in Arizona dating back to 2006 under the Bush Administration to build cases against higher-level cartel members.
o The report identified no evidence that Attorney General Holder knew about or sanctioned gunwalking. To the contrary, he condemned this tactic and ordered the Inspector General to investigate when he became aware that it was used. The Attorney General has now testified before Congress seven times on this topic.
• Contrary to their public statements, House Republicans subpoenaed highly sensitive documents that could compromise ongoing criminal investigations and prosecutions.
o Although Chairman Issa stated on national television that the documents he wants “do not particularly include any ongoing criminal investigations,” his subpoena demands the production of core investigative and prosecutorial material that the Department has warned would “compromise the pending criminal investigations and prosecutions.”
o The Committee’s subpoena also demands other highly sensitive documents, including wiretap applications currently under seal by a federal judge, photographs of crime scenes, and FBI and DEA investigative reports about confidential informants.
o The Department has vigorously protected these kinds of sensitive law enforcement documents for decades under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
• This investigation has become an election-year witch hunt to generate negative press against the Administration instead of a legitimate fact-finding and reform effort.
o Although the Department continues to produce documents and witnesses, last week a draft contempt citation was leaked to the press and the Speaker’s office before Oversight Committee Members ever saw it.
o Last week, House Republicans used the appropriations process to punish the Department for raising serious concerns about the Committee’s overbroad subpoena.
o Oversight Committee Member Trey Gowdy stated: “Unless they want to sell paper clips and scrap metal to raise money for the Department of Justice, there will be many amendments gutting the appropriations for his department if he keeps playing this game.”