Rep. Issa Threatens to Hold ATF in Contempt

ATF's Kenneth Melson /fbi photo
By Allan Lengel

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) continues to hammer away at ATF.

On Wednesday, the Congressman threatened to  begin contempt proceedings against the agency if it continues to hold back subpoenaed documents on the controversial gun-walking programs that encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers — all in hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

David Codrea of The Examiner reported that Issa, chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,  fired off a letter dated April 20 to acting ATF director Ken Melson  stating: “I am hereby informing you that the Committee intends to enforce the subpoena issued to you on March 31, 2011. If you do not comply with the subpoena, the Committee will be forced to commence contempt proceedings.”

Earlier on in the 6-page letter, Issa stated: “I am disappointed that you have failed to produce any documents that would meet your legal obligation by the subpoena’s April 13 deadline. ”

Issa’s committee has been pushing to review Project Gunrunner and its offshoot Operation Fast and Furious.

The ATF gunwalking program proved an embarrassment. ATF lost track of some of the guns, which ended up in the hands of criminals. The committee is trying to determine if the guns were used in the murder of a border agent and an ICE agent.

ATF declined comment on the letter.

Read the letter

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