Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice dumped documents related to Operation Fast and Furious on congressional officials late Friday night. Central to this document dump is a series of emails showing Holder was informed of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder on the day it happened – December 15, 2010 – and that he was informed the weapons used to kill Terry were from Fast and Furious on the same day.
An email from one official, whose name has been redacted from the document, to now-former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke reads: “On December 14, 2010, a BORTAC agent working in the Nogales, AZ AOR was shot. The agent was conducting Border Patrol operations 18 miles north of the international boundary when he encountered [redacted word] unidentified subjects. Shots were exchanged resulting in the agent being shot. At this time, the agent is being transported to an area where he can be air lifted to an emergency medical center.”
That email was sent at 2:31 a.m. on the day Terry was shot. One hour later, a follow-up email read: “Our agent has passed away.”
Burke forwarded those two emails to Holder’s then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson later that morning, adding that the incident was “not good” because it happened “18 miles w/in” the border.
Wilkinson responded to Burke shortly thereafter and said the incident was “tragic.” “I’ve alerted the AG [Holder], the Acting DAG, Lisa, etc.”
Then, later that day, Burke followed up with Wilkinson after Burke discovered from officials whose names are redacted that the guns used to kill Terry were from Fast and Furious. “The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store,” Burke wrote to Wilkinson.
“I’ll call tomorrow,” Wilkinson responded.
This is hardly the first time new evidence has come out that directly contradicts Holder’s congressional testimony. These new emails are written evidence that Holder was aware of Fast and Furious about five months before he testified in Congress that he had only learned of the gunwalking program a “few weeks” before a May 3, 2011, House Judiciary Committee appearance.
Holder has since walked back that “few weeks” comment, amending it to more of a “couple months.”
“I did say a ‘few weeks,’” Holder said during a November 8 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, responding to a question from its chairman Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy. “I probably could’ve said ‘a couple of months.’ I didn’t think the term I said, ‘few weeks,’ was inaccurate based on what happened.”
There have also been a series of documents containing the intimate details of Fast and Furious that were sent to Holder all throughout 2010 from several of his senior aides. Holder claims he did not read his memos.
Holder will be appearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform next Thursday, Feb. 2. Though Holder has already testified before Congress three times about matters relating to Fast and Furious — twice before the House Judiciary Committee and once before the Senate Judiciary Committee — this is the first time the House oversight committee will have an opportunity to question Holder himself.
“The Judiciary Committee has multiple issues with the Attorney General,” House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller last week. “We have one issue: the issue of breaking the law in order to enforce the law.”
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