NPR reported it first: Former Ariz. U.S. Attorney Admits Leaking 'Fast And Furious' Memo
Josh Gerstein in Politico: Former US Attorney owns up to Fast-and-Furious-related leak.
A politically-connected U.S. Attorney who resigned in August over the Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning probe acknowledged through his lawyers on Tuesday that he leaked a memo as part of what lawmakers say was an effort to smear a federal law enforcement agent who publicly criticized the probe's tactics.
Dennis Burke, who stepped down as U.S. Attorney in August as part of a Justice Department reshuffle of personnel involved in Fast and Furious, acknowledged to internal department investigators weeks earlier that he released the memo written by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent John Dodson. Dodson testified publicly at a House hearing in June about his unsuccessful attempts to persuade ATF higher-ups to abandon the tactic of gunwalking, in which government agents deliberately passed up opportunities to intercept suspicious shipments of weapons believed destined for Mexican drug cartels.
Burke "provided the memo to a reporter he had known for some time in response to the reporter's request. The reporter, who initiated the contact with Dennis, was working on several stories involving Operation Fast and Furious. It was clear to Dennis from their conversation that the reporter had either seen the memo or had it read to him," Burke attorney Lee Stein said Tuesday in a letter sent to Justice's Office of Inspector General, first reported by NPR, and posted here.
During questioning of Attorney General Eric Holder before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) referred to the leak as an effort to smear Dodson because of his disclosures and complaints about Fast and Furious. Grassley did not publicly identify Burke, but Holder was visibly disturbed by the senator's public mention of Holder's private assurances that someone had been disciplined for the leak.
"It almost pains me,” Holder said of Grassley’s disclosure of what the attorney general called a “private conversation. “I called you to try to indicate to you that I had taken that matter seriously....In a different time in Washington, I’m not sure what you just said would have been shared with everyone here."
Neither Burke's nor Holder's public statements at the time of Burke's abrupt resignation last August made any reference to an unauthorized disclosure to the press. Some published reports said Burke was fired, but department spokespeople declined to confirm that.
Prior to his sudden exit in August, Burke was extremely well-regarded within the department and enjoyed close ties to President Barack Obama's cabinet. He served as a top aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, both in Washington and earlier when she was governor of Arizona. Burke was also frequently mentioned in Arizona as a potential Democratic candidate for statewide office. (Emphasis supplied, MBV.)
Burke and Newell. Both schmucks on the make, having previously sold their souls to the devil, both with personal links to the White House.
And the Obamanoids want to blame the entire scandal on THEM? How desperate is that?