Chairman Issa on Resignation of Lanny Breuer
WASHINGTON – Today, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa released the following statement on news of the impending resignation of Justice Department’s Criminal Division head, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer:
“Lanny Breuer’s resignation is long overdue,” Chairman Issa said. “Breuer was at the heart of several critical failures in Operation Fast and Furious: he knew about reckless tactics, failed to take seriously allegations that they were continuing, and only owned up to his failures once they were publicly exposed.
“The Inspector General’s report admonished Breuer for failing to inform the Deputy Attorney General or the Attorney General when he learned, in April 2010, that the reckless tactic of gunwalking was used in a prior operation. Furthermore, several of Breuer’s top deputies authorized sensitive wiretap applications under Breuer’s authority that, according to the OIG report, contained stark, incontrovertible evidence of the exact same gunwalking tactic. Had Breuer taken any action whatsoever, Fast and Furious would have ended eight months sooner than it did. This resignation paves the way for needed new leadership in the Criminal Division.”
With Breuer’s resignation, the three highest ranking DOJ officials whom the DOJ Inspector General criticized in his September 2012 report on Operation Fast and Furious – former Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, and Breuer – have now left the Department in the wake of the report’s release.