DOJ acts on OIG report before it is even released.
"Why this one?" "Because he's named in the OIG Report, Holder told me so." "How'd he know? I thought the OIG process was sacrosanct." "Right. . . just slit his throat, will you? There's a whole bunch more to go." "But the OIG Report isn't even out." "Right. Look, if you're not going to slit his throat, hand me the knife."
Breaking: ATF reportedly relieves Fast and Furious managers prior to OIG report
Gun Rights Examiner and Sipsey Street Irregulars received information this evening that three of the prime Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives players in the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal have been relieved of duties.
William Hoover, ATF's Deputy Director during Fast and Furious who was recently reassigned as Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office, Assistant Director in Charge of Field Operations Mark Chait, likewise reassigned as head of the Baltimore Field Office, and Deputy Assistant Director of Field Operations William McMahon have reportedly been sidelined pending the outcome of the anticipated report from the Office of Inspector General. Debbie Bullock a mid-level manager has reportedly been advised that she is now the acting SAC for Baltimore to assume Chait's functions.
My partner in inconvenient federal revelations has more here.
This correspondent also received a copy of a letter authored by Assistant Attorney General Weich, he of last February's now "withdrawn" letter to Senator Grassley falsely denying that the DOJ was aware of gunwalking. This letter is addressed to Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa and indicates to this observer that the stonewalling in the Gunwalker investigation continues. It is, as most of Weich's previous letters have been, personally insulting to the intelligence of both Grassley and Issa, and sticks a thumb in their collective eye while patently subverting the oversight process.
Here is a transcript of the body of the letter, sent on 21 December 2011.
Dear Chairman Issa and Senator Grassley:This responds to your letter to the Attorney General dated November 1, 2011, which requested a comprehensive schedule of records of all government surveillance of suspected straw purchases of firearms in the United States.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) advises that it does not maintain a searchable database of cases involving surveillance of suspected straw purchases. ATF advises that creating the schedule you have requested would require a manual review of thousands of firearms trafficking case files in order to determine whether surveillance of suspected straw purchases occurred. This would entail an extraordinary commitment of time and resources that ATF is not equipped to undertake at this time. Further, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration advise that they do not conduct surveillance of straw purchases in the ordinary course of their law enforcement activities. We are not aware of any other Department components that would be likely to conduct surveillance of straw purchases. We also note that any surveillance records would likely implicate significant law enforcement and individual privacy interests.We regret that we have been unable to assist you with your request. Please do hesitate to contact this office it we may provide further information on this this, or any other matter.Sincerely,Ronald Weich
Now, recall readers that the Lone Wolf Trading Company was set up for video and audio by the ATF. Acting Director Melson himself would sign on and observe dealings going down. And the ATF can't find ANY cases "involving surveillance of suspected straw purchases?" This, like the pre-OIG Report identification of the sacrificial goats of ATF, is simply more stonewalling in service of the cover-up.
As David concludes his story about the sidelining of Hoover, Chait and McMahon, "This latest reported development lends itself to the observation that Holder is protecting something else, and that this is a tactical move in anticipation of the report's release and his next trip to the Hill."
My sources concur. "The White House intends for Holder to go into the next hearing with a preliminary OIG report in his hands, indicating that he's got it all cleaned up, which is bullshit," said one. Said another, "They'll be firing some big names to convince everybody there's nothing left to see here."
On the human interest side of the story, another source was derisive about the three goats apparently now selected by the White House for sacrifice, believing them to be long overdue for some sort of karmic reckoning, saying:
"Hoover ran the Bureau with his little head instead of his big one as he was more interested in banging Anna Marie Paskalis (ATF attorney) than he was in paying attention to the ATF mission. Chait is a douche bag who abandoned his post as the SAC in New Orleans after Katrina. . . (a) no-account, low character coward. McMahon is a do-nothing boob whose involvement in running western region field operations amounted to hitting the forward button on such items as the wire tap documents for F&F while he was jet setting around the world with his girlfriend on ATF’s dime."
The question is, can Holder's ATF kabuki theater succeed in containing the blame for the Gunwalker Scandal to ATF personnel and the Phoenix U.S. Attorney's office? Based on information that this correspondent has received, and which will form the basis for future stories, I doubt it. But it will be fun to watch them try.