Ye Olde Friday Document Dump! Its amazing what one can find out on a Friday evening. This week’s dump included some internal Department of Justice memos indicating that higher-ups and possibly even Attorney General Eric Holder knew about this disastrous program much earlier than what he told congress.
When Attorney General Holder first testified before Congress on May 3, 2011, he said that he had only been informed about the program for a few weeks. However we now know that there was a flurry of emails sent the day Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered, December 15, 2010. The emails were sent to high ranking members of the DOJ and perhaps even the Attorney General.
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.
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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.
While this is not a “smoking gun” it is dammed close. We know that Wilkinson forwarded the first email to Holder and while there is no proof that Holder’s Deputy Chief of Staff forwarded the second Email to the AG, it would defy logic to assume he didn’t. Wilkinson claims he does not remember whether he forwarded the second email to Holder.
Holder will appear tomorrow to testify before Chairman Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee. Between Friday’s revelation and the recent taking of “fifth” by a DOJ employee when called to testify about fast and furious, I am sure they will have lots to talk about.