An investigation by an independent arm of the Department of Justice concluded on Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder had no knowledge
about a series of botched gun stings, which began in 2006 under George W. Bush
— until the operation’s flaws became public in January 2011.
The 471-page Inspector General’s report on “Operation Fast and Furious” discredits sharp allegations by Republicans in Congress who launched a witch hunt
against Holder, subjecting him to hours of interrogation
to float conspiracy theories
, alleging repeatedly
that the Obama administration was using the high-profile gun violence from the operation to garner support for gun regulation, and finding Holder in contempt of Congress
The report debunks suggestions that Holder attempted to mislead Congress or cover up information, and confirms Holder’s own account of the operation
: that it employed “flawed strategy and tactics,” but that Holder did not know about or authorize those tactics. When Holder learned that the operation out of Phoenix had been selling guns to suspected gun smugglers in an attempt to snag traffickers, he initiated changes to Department policy and personnel, and asked for an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, which concluded:
We determined that Attorney General Holder did not learn about Operation Fast and Furious until late January or early February 2011 and was not aware of allegations of “gun walking” in the investigation until February. We found no evidence that Department or ATF staff informed the Attorney General about Operation Wide Receiver or Operation Fast and Furious prior to 2011.