I have this day sent the following email to Henry Kerner, Darrell Issa's major domo on the House Oversight committee, and Brian Downey, Senator Grassley's right hand guy in the F&F investigation.
-----Original Message-----From: georgemason1776To: henry.kerner
; brian_downeySent: Wed, Mar 7, 2012 6:30 amSubject: Regarding what line United States Attorneys can, and cannot, do.Gentlemen,I would like to draw your attention to a story of mine from yesterday on the strange events surrounding a civil suit subsequent to the ATF's failed case of U.S. vs. Friesen. Link: http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2012/03/sipset-street-exclusive-little-jimmy.htmlDoug Friesen, an Oklahoma attorney and machine gun collector, was targeted for prosecution by the ATF. The case blew up over several issues, the most important being the accuracy of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). The defense presented expert evidence that the NFRTR was in fact not accurate, that the ATF knew it was not accurate (although it routinely sends people to prison based upon its supposed accuracy), and sought more discovery material from the U.S. Attorney and ATF. (Problems previously noted with the NFRTR can be found here: http://www.nfaoa.org/documents/NFRTRdocpack.pdf) For its part, the ATF was chided by the trial judge for failure to produce Brady material which the defense demonstrated existence. In the event, some discovery material turned over to the defense by ATF attorney James P. Vann was later found to contain viruses which infected defense counsel computers. The ATF and DOJ were evidently relieved to offer a deal to Mr. Friesen on a minor paperwork violation rather than proceed with such a fatally flawed case. (This wasn't for lack of trying since this was the second time ATF had sought to prosecute Mr. Friesen on the same charges.)Subsequent to the deal, Mr. Friesen, who had suffered great economic damage from this wrongful prosecution, sought to recover from Charles Erb, the manufacturer of the machine gun at issue in a civil suit. The ATF and DOJ have reacted very strangely to this civil suit and seem to have decided that they have an identity of interest with Mr. Erb, although exactly why is a bit murky.I would like to draw your attention to Mr. Erb's expert witness list. (Linked in my story and found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/84019250/Pl-Expert-Designation) You will note that it is made up entirely of current and former ATF and DOJ employees, all participating on the taxpayer dime, presumably.You will further note that it includes the name of Ed Kumiega, Assistant United States Attorney in Oklahoma City. I mention this because Mr. Kumiega is one of that protected species that Attorney General Eric Holder has been holding forth at great length about what DOJ line attorneys can, and cannot, do when it comes to your investigation of Fast and Furious. I am not an attorney, but attorneys have told me that this designated expert witness list made up ENTIRELY of government employees IN A CIVIL SUIT IN WHICH NEITHER THEY NOR THE GOVERNMENT IS NAMED, not only is unprecedented in their experience, but that it must have been approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department.Another curiousity of the list is that it does not include the ATF's NFRTR Custodian, who could testify under oath as to the accuracy and completeness of the NFRTR with particular regard to the specific firearm(s) brought into evidence at Friesen's original trial. Were the ATF case legitimate, this would be an obvious addition, yet this is evidently a place they do not wish to go.I commend this strange behavior in the case of Doug Friesen (and the similar case of U.S. vs. Clark in Phoenix which involves some of the same federal actors as Fast and Furious as well as James P. Vann) for your consideration and further investigation. The scandals of the ATF and DOJ are not limited to Fast and Furious and you are both -- through the elected public servants you represent -- uniquely positioned to get to the bottom of this curious behavior on the part of Eric Holder's employees.Mike VanderboeghPO Box 926Pinson, AL 35126