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Atty. Gen. Holder Likely to Get Grilling on ATF Program at Congressional Hearing

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. might have to bring his extra-thick skin when he appears Tuesday before a House Judiciary Committee hearing where he’s expected to get a grilling about the ATF gun-walking program called Operation Fast and Furious.

The program has stirred a mountain of controversy, and one of those folks leading the charge has been Rep. Darrell Issa, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

Becca Watkins, a spokeswoman for the the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Issa chairs, told ticklethewire.com ,that she expects Issa to press Holder for answers during Tuesday’s hearing.

Issa has been pushing hard for answers about Operation Fast Furious, a program in which the ATF Phoenix office encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers — all in the hopes of tracing the guns to the Mexican cartels. The problem was ATF lost track of some guns that were used in crimes, and may have been used in the shooting death of at least one federal agent.

Holder and President Obama have both said they did not give the go ahead for such a program.

Issa has threatened ATF with contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena to turn over materials on the program.

Watkins said ATF has still not complied, but to date, no further action has been taken on the contempt threat.  She added that Congressional investigators went to Arizona last week to gather more information on the ATF program.

The Justice Department has indicated that it is preparing to turn over some documents.


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