As predicted, Representative Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has sent a wide-ranging subpoena over to the Department of Justice. “Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” Issa asserted in a statement heralding the move. “The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth.” To that end . . .
Issa has requested docs relating to one of the lesser publicized aspects of the growing scandal surrounding the “stingless sting” run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (and Really Big Fires): the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata.
The subpoena seeks, among other things, all communications regarding the operation from 16 top Justice officials, including Holder, his chief of staff, Gary Grindler, and the head of the department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, as well as correspondence on specific dates to and from the former head of the ATF’s Phoenix field division, William Newell.
It also asks for all documents and communications referring or relating to the murder of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata, including any correspondence outlining the details of Zapata’s mission at the time he was murdered.
Special Agent Zapata was assassinated by drug thugs who stopped his vehicle on a major Mexican highway between Monterrey and Mexico City. Mexican authorities confiscated ATF-enabled weapons at the scene. Thanks to his partner Victor Avila (who survived the attack), we know Zapata’s last words: “We’re Americans. We’re diplomats.”
According to published reports, Los Zetas cartel members assassinated Zapata. It’s possible they did so in retaliation for American support for the Sinaloa drug cartel, the Los Zetas deadly (and I do mean deadly) rivals. If so, the details will be damning on all sorts of levels.
Meanwhile, foxnews.com may not get all the details right—they fail to mention the third ATF-enabled firearm discovered at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry—but they rightly point out that Issa’s subpoenas indicate that the Department of Justice is just one spoke in a larger wheel.
The subpoena also asks for correspondence that Justice Department officials had with the White House about the gun trafficking operation, as well as what information was shared by Justice officials in Mexico.
The Sipsey Street Irregulars have been highlighting the fact that the State Department is up to their eyeballs in Gunwalker et al. As you’d expect. If Issa gets a window on the DOJ’s Gunwalker comms with Mexico, he could open the door to fresh revelations about Fast and Furious complicity by both Felipe Calderon’s government and Hillary’s State Department.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Suffice it to say Eric Holder’s Justice Department will not fully comply with Issa’s subpoena. Even if Gunwalker was a “botched sting,” even if Zapata was just a tourist, surrendering documents that fully uncover this hot mess would be political suicide for Holder if not the entire Obama administration.
Issa will not give up. The U.S. presidential election is looming. Mexico’s general elections are coming. As is the trial of the captured Sinaloa jefe who’s itching to spill the beans about Uncle Sam’s involvement in Mexico’s drug trade in general and “guns for goons” in particular.
No matter how you slice it, the ATF has lit the fuse on one of the biggest political scandals of our time. And it’s just getting started.