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Tag: Grassley

Issa and Grassley Concerned About ATF Blocking Book by Whistleblower on “Fast and Furious”

John Dodson

By TAL KOPAN
Politico

WASHINGTON — Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday demanding more information about the agency’s decision to prohibit the agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious from publishing his book.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member, who have been outspoken critics of the failed gun-walking operation, wrote to the director of the ATF that the rejection of Special Agent John Dodson’s book was “disconcerting.”

“We find it disconcerting that ATF denied Special Agent Dodson’s request merely because the content of his book might be uncomfortable and embarrassing to some within your organization,” the lawmakers wrote. “This position does not reflect the commitment you made in your confirmation hearing to be supportive of whistleblowers in your role as director of the ATF.”

To read more click here.

 

 

GOP Resistance to Confirming Todd Jones as ATF Director is Stiffening

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anyone who follows politics inside the Beltway knows the confirmation process for ATF director, by it’s nature, is challenging.

That’s certainly the case with Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones, who has been the acting head of ATF.

Kevin Diaz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that GOP resistance to Jone’s confirmation is “stiffening.”

The paper reports that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday requested that top federal law enforcement officials in Washington turn over documents that might reveal “conflicts” with Jones.

The requests were made in a series of letters from Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the paper reported.

The paper writes:

The letters, obtained by the Star Tribune, allude to three unnamed witnesses, presumably all law enforcement officials in Minnesota, who reportedly talked privately to Grassley’s staff. Sources close to the matter say they are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation. Nevertheless, Grassley cited them to contradict Jones’ testimony before the Senate last month that he was unaware of any “deterioration” in relations between his office and law enforcement agencies in Minnesota.

The letters also refer indirectly to a whistleblower complaint brought against Jones by Jeffrey Paulsen, an assistant U.S. attorney in Minneapolis, who says he was unfairly disciplined by Jones for raising management concerns.

To read more click here.

 

Lawmakers Upset Over Rift Between Reno ATF and U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada

Sen. Grassley/official photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Three members of Congress are increasingly putting pressure on Attorney General Eric Holder to explain the U.S. Attorney’s  dysfunctional relationship with the Reno-based ATF office, Main Justice reports.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nevada has refused to prosecute ATF cases in the Reno office, leaving as many as a dozen cases untouched..

“The Justice Department has yet to respond to any of Congress’ questions about what happened in Reno for more than a year,” Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a a statement. “It’s an abdication of responsibility on the part of the Justice Department, and if these crimes weren’t prosecuted, whether because of actions of the U.S. Attorney or the ATF, the people of Nevada should know why.”

Two Nevada lawmakers joined the call for answers.

The cause of the strained relationship remains unclear, but agents have virtually abandoned the Reno, according Main Justice.

Fast and Furious Redux?

Rep. Issa/gov photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It appears that members of Congress have found a new ATF operation to scrutinize.

But unlike Fast and Furious, the operation–code-named White Gun–has been defended by the agency as a “well-managed investigation” which resulted in the arrest and conviction of three individuals, reports LA Times.

Still, critics are skeptical.

“Apparently guns got away again,” an unnamed source close to the investigation told the Times. “How many got into Mexico, who knows?” The Congressional probe into the matter is being led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).

The Times reports that operations White Gun and Fast and Furious both began in the fall of 2009, and that the same officials from the ATF ran both operations.

To read more click here.

Grassley Fires Off Letter to Homeland Sec. Napolitano: Concerned About Reduced Searches for Illegals on Northern Border

By Danny Fenster

Sen. Grassley/official photo

ticklethewire.com

A letter from Senator Charles Grassley representing a group of 14 Senators is asking  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to reconsider a policy to end routine traffic checks of buses, trains and other vehicles for illegal aliens along the United State’s northern border.

“News of the lessened security will only entice potential terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the country through the northern border,” read the letter issued Friday.  “The American people must be reassured that our borders remain secure and routine searches will continue.”

Grassley learned of the new policy from media reports, another point of contention he had with DHS.

“The nature in which we learned of the orders sent to the north border field offices is quite troubling considering you appeared before the Senate and House Judiciary Committees over the past two weeks and neglected to inform of this change in policy.”

Grassley asked for copies of any memos or directives sent to the field.

The letter also pointed out specific instances of terrorists crossing or being stopped at the Canadian border, attempting to enter the United States to commit harm.

To read the letter click here.