OGR Democrats’ False Statements on Fast and Furious Wiretap Applications: Willfully Misleading the American People or Just Plain Wrong?

September 20, 2012

“Missing from the public debate has been the wiretap applications themselves, which are under court seal. Issa obtained the documents despite the seal.  Issa plans to challenge Democrats on the Oversight panel on whether they have taken the opportunity to review them and, if they have, whether they agree with Holder and Cummings about the contents of the applications.” - Roll Call, 6/18/2012

OGR Dems saying wiretaps did not show reckless tactics:

“[A]ll six of these wiretap applications state explicitly that law enforcement agents on the ground in Arizona did not observe the illegal acts of transferring firearms to unauthorized persons or trafficking firearms across the border to Mexico.” - Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, 6/15/2012

“[T]he wiretap applications. I read through them yesterday, and I would say without — since we can't talk about what was in them, that my perception of what they would imply was far different than my friend from South Carolina's perception.” - Rep. John Yarmuth, 6/20/2012

“We have to be cautious because of the privileged nature of the wiretaps. So, I can't talk about the contents of those. But I can say after reading those, nothing — nothing in those wiretaps supports what you're alleging. Not a — matter of fact, they refute — they refute everything you're saying.” - Rep. Stephen Lynch, 6/20/2012

IG Contradicts their false assurances to the public:

“We found that the affidavits described specific incidents that would suggest to a prosecutor who was focused on the question of investigative tactics that ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers.” (p. 277)

“Moreover, a reader of only the 5-page OEO cover memorandum would have learned significant facts [redacted] . . . We concluded that a reader of the OEO cover memorandum would infer from the facts stated that ATF agents did not take enforcement action to interdict the weapons or arrest [redacted].”  (p. 279)