Today brought major developments to the Gunwalker scandal. Kenneth Melson, the acting director of ATF, testified before the Congressional investigation. Melson gave new details on the Department of Justice’s efforts to cover-up the scandal:
Melson provided detailed information and documents to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department. But that information was not given to Congress by then-Acting Deputy Attorney General James Cole. In fact, “Melson was not allowed to communicate to Congress” and “Justice Department officials directed [ATF’s senior leadership] not to respond and took full control of replying to briefing and document requests from Congress.” According to the letter Issa and Grassley sent to Holder, it was “two days after [Melson] told [Cole] about serious issues involving lack of information sharing” that the Wall Street Journal suddenly reported that Melson was about to be ousted by the Obama administration.
Melson also directly contradicted claims made by the Justice Department:
Contrary to the Justice Department’s denials, according to Melson, ATF agents specifically witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without taking any further action.
Also, in the second major development, an email came to light showing that knowledge of the Fast and Furious operation went quite high, including Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer, and the heads of the FBI and DEA.