Replacing Ken Melson, acting head of ATF, could get a little messy.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Melson is “strongly resisting pressure” to step down over the controversy surrounding ATF’s “Operation Fast and Furious”, a flawed program that encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers with the hopes of tracing them to the Mexican cartels. ATF lost track of some weapons that showed up at crime scenes.
The paper reported that Melson is eager to testify to Congress about the extent of his and other officials’ involvement in the operation.
The LA Times said Melson doesn’t want to be “the fall guy” for the program
“He is saying he won’t go,” one source told the paper. “He has told them, ‘I’m not going to be the fall guy on this.’ ”
A second source told the paper: “He’s resisting. He does not want to go.”
Andrew Traver, head of the Chicago ATF, has been nominated by the White House to become the head of ATF. But his nomination has been stalled in the Senate because of fierce opposition from the NRA, which insists he’s too anti-gun rights.
Traver met Tuesday with Attorney Gen. Eric Holder. Reports predicted that Melson would be pressured to step down and Traver would become acting director pending the outcome of the confirmation process.
OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST
- FBI Mum on Hacker Attack on Conn. Affiliate (AP)
- Ex-University Head Arrested in Prostitution Ring (AP)
- Whitey Bulger’s Seaside Apartment (ABC)
- Conrad Black Faces Resentencing in Chicago (AP)
- Chicago’s Top Cop Likens Federal Gun Laws to “Racism” (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Republicans Allow Nomination of Justice Dept.’s James Cole to Go to Senate Floor (Main Justice)
- Mobster Assured Fed Judge He was Never on Hit List (NY Daily News)
- NY Times Reporter Asks Judge to Nix Subpoena in CIA Leak Case (Politico)