ATF Director Testifies on Operation Targeting Gun Smugglers

July 6, 2011

DEA and FBI may have failed to share key information on informants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, July 4, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson testified before investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee about Operation Fast and Furious.  Following this interview, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, expressed their deep concerns about the involvement of the DEA, FBI, and other agencies – including the possibility that they were aware of and even working with people connected to Fast and Furious suspects.

In addition to these concerns noted in the letter to the Attorney General, Acting Director Melson made key assertions to investigators:

  • Contrary to denials by the Justice Department, Acting Director Melson acknowledged the agents had in fact witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns any further.
  • The ATF group executing Operation Fast and Furious had been placed under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office.

Click here for a copy of the letter from Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley to Attorney General Holder.

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Related Documents

Issa and Grassley Letter