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Judiciary Oversight Hearing Spotlights "Fast and Furious"

Washington, DC
Thursday, June 7, 2012

On, Thursday, June 7, Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about leaked wiretap applications related to the government’s “Fast and Furious” operation aimed at arresting members of drug cartels. Committee Republicans say the documents show that senior Justice Department officials knew the operation involved a tactic known as gun walking, where smugglers are allowed to move guns across the border with Mexico.

The Attorney General said the documents contain no reference to gun walking. His testimony came before the annual Justice Department Oversight hearing at the House Judiciary Committee.

The Justice Department’s voting rights enforcement actions were also discussed, with Republican members questioning the Department’s effort to stop a purge of the voter roles in Florida.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) pressured the Attorney General with contempt of Congress because he believes the Justice Department has moved slowly in response to the committee's investigation.  The Justice Department has said they can not disclose the thousands of supporting documents the committee has requested because it would interfere with the Agency's ongoing investigations.

The operation allowed illegal gun purchases along the Southwest border in Arizona, intending to track the weapons to cartel leaders.  Instead, around 1,700 guns were misplaced. Eventually they appeared at crime scenes in Mexico, and two were recovered after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed in Tucson.

Additionally, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) called on Attorney General Holder to answer to DOJ’s apparent selective enforcement on immigration and drug policy.

Updated: Friday, June 29, 2012 at 1:20pm (ET)

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