Sources familiar with the congressional investigation into the Gunwalker Plot say that investigators are homing in on early conversations -- and meetings -- between ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division William Newell and his self-described "long-time friend," Kevin O'Reilly, a State Department employee then on the National Security Council. This is reflected, say the sources, in the subpoena issued this week by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee seeking, among other things, "All communications to or from William Newell, former Special agent in Charge for ATF's Phoenix Field Division, between . . . March 16, 2009 to March 19, 2009."
The sources also say that Newell met personally with O'Reilly during this early period in the Obama administration and they believe that Newell may have "weaponized" the desire for more better statistics on the part of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others to support the "90 Percent" meme -- that 90% of weapons seized in Mexico from the drug cartels actually came from American civilian market sources.
Newell, who the sources say was familiar with the tactic of "gun walking" from the previous failed Operation Wide Receiver in Tuscon where Newell had participated in it, probably provided the germ of the idea that "walked" weapons could be used to "boost the statistics" of weapons found at crime scenes in Mexico, in the words of an early whiistleblower in this case.
If this is true, it places Kevin O'Reilly, a State Department employee responsible to Hillary Clinton, as the critical potential witness in the early history of the Gunwalker Scandal. Sources also say that there is a "not unfounded" fear that O'Reilly, who was suddenly transferred to Iraq "to keep him from being interviewed by the committee" according to one, "will not survive the deployment."
This is a developing story and we will have more later.