Thursday, April 14, 2011

CBS: "Gun shop owner expressed concerns early on in "gunwalker" scandal." Grassley catches DOJ in more lies.

Damning indeed.

Damning, newly-obtained emails show that a key gun shop owner made explicit concerns in writing last year in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' "gunwalking" scandal.

Starting in late 2009, ATF allegedly directed an undetermined number of Phoenix-area gun shop owners to go ahead with sales of thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to suspicious buyers. Insiders claim ATF knew the buyers were connected to Mexico's drug cartels, but let the guns "walk" onto the street anyway in a misguided attempt to obtain intelligence. ATF and the Justice Department have denied that.

Investigators from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) obtained the emails this week.

In an April 13, 2010 email, the unnamed gun shop owner told ATF he was worried how he'd be viewed if the guns he sold ended up in the wrong hands.

"We just want to make sure we are cooperating with ATF and that we are not viewed as selling to bad guys," the gun shop owner wrote to ATF Phoenix Supervisor David Voth. The gun shop owner asked for a letter of understanding to "alleviate concerns of some type of recourse against us down the road for selling these items."

ATF Supervisor Voth tried to reassure the cooperating gun shop owner. "I understand that the frequency with which some individuals under investigation by our office have been purchasing firearms from your business has caused concerns for you... However, if helps put you at east we (ATF) are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into [in] detail."

According to Sen. Grassley, in a letter fired off to Attorney General Eric Holder last night, the ATF arranged a meeting between the gun shop owner and the U.S. Attorney's office which is part of the Justice Department. At that meeting, Sen. Grassley says the U.S. Attorney's office declined to provide written terms but assured the gun dealer there were safeguards in place to prevent further distribution of the weapons being purchased from his business.

"As we now know, those assurances provide to be untrue," Grassley wrote.

Two months later, on June 17, 2010, the same gun shop owner again wrote ATF's Supervisor Voth again after he saw a Fox News report about firearms and the border. The gun shop owner called the report "disturbing" and stated "When you [Voth], [the Assistant U.S. Attorney], and I met on May 13th [2010], I shared my concerns with you guys that I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys... I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents' safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. Border Patrol Agents in southern AZ."

This was six months before Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down near the Arizona border. Two assault rifles that ATF had allegedly let "walk" were found at the scene.

The gun shop owner also stated there were "one or two" occasions on which his employees witnessed and recorded with surveillance cameras an exchange of money between a suspect and another individual on the premises; but the dealer said ATF officials wanted him to proceed with this so-called "straw" purchase. Buying a weapon for personal use and then transferring it to somebody else is against the law.

In his letter, Grassley told Attorney General Holder: "In light of this new evidence, the Justice Departments' claim that the ATF never knowingly sanctioned or allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers is simply not credible."

Grassley discusses the scandal and new emails on the Senate floor.

So far, Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who is also investigating the gunwalking scandal, say they have received little to no meaningful response to their document and information requests from ATF and the Department of Justice. Earlier this week when the Justice Department turned over selected materials to Rep. Issa's staff, sources say Grassley's staff were now allowed entry or access to the same materials.

In response to a question about the alleged gunwalking, President Obama has said a "serious mistake" may have been made, and that neither he nor Holder authorized any such operation. Holder has said the Inspector General is investigating.

PDF of Grassley Letter to Holder and attached emails.


Anonymous said...

One thing I love (NOT) about this sort of theater is that we pay the crooks to commit the crime, then we pay the cops to catch them, then we pay the crooks to defend themselves, then we pay the prosecutors to prosecute them, and so on... So the crooks and the cops have something in common; we pay both of them.


Mark Matis said...

For Anonymous at 1:02 PM:

Let me assure you that the crooks and the cops have a LOT more than that in common.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't an independent investigator been called in to investigate this cluserfluck?

W W Woodward said...

We have a saying in west Texas: "Lying like an egg sucking dog."

It appears that Holder and Obama have been caught in the hen house.


Anonymous said...

We're paying one team of crooks to pretend to catch the other team. So far it seems to be working out well for both sides. For us? Not so much!

Anonymous said...

I agree Mark, I just thought I'd let them wear their masks a little bit longer. :-)

Anon, anon, and on...

Mark Matis said...

For Anonymous at 1:29 PM:

Because the Muslim in Chief does not want one. The Senate under Reid isn't about to do it, and the House under "Weepy" Boehner does not have the guts to demand one either.

The stench is overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

"It appears that Holder and Obama have been caught in the hen house."

Doing what they do best, eh?

Ike said...

Just posted at

"We just want to make sure we are cooperating with ATF and that we are not viewed as selling to bad guys," said the cooperating FFL.....

Well, guess what..... Every "Gunwalker" gun traced (through eTrace) from Mexico, or anywhere else, is a "crime gun" sale which will be permanently recorded by the eTrace system against the first selling dealer, and tabulated at the National Tracing Center. With enough 'crime gun' sale traces, the FFL will be targeted for extra scrutiny during ATF annual inspections. This practice is documented in ATF publications and is an automated process through eTrace at the National Tracing Center. It's highly unlikely that the automated system could or would be suspended by ATF Supervisor Voth - that would skew the statistics!

The FFLs who cooperated with ATF during the "Gunwalker" sales to Mexican traffickers should be made aware that their sales to 'straw purchasers' and Mexican traffickers encouraged by Supervisor Voth and others will count against them in the eTrace system - for many years to come. This could be a high price to pay for cooperating...... Would anyone like to tell me I'm wrong?

Legal Alien said...

Holder lied - LE agents died

Prosecute him and his cabal for treason!!!!!

Anonymous said...

In the Army the NCO's had two ways to keep your attention and ensure your work and cooperation -- taking away your time and/or your money.

I would STRONGLY SUGGEST (kof! kof!) that the Congress defund, take away THE MONEY from both the ATF and the DOJ.

Then they'll have LOTS OF TIME to answer Gunwalker questions.

B Woodman

Dedicated_Dad said...

So... FFL wants something in writing, but they won't give it.

They want a "face-to-face" but DO NOT want his lawyer there.

And he fell for this? Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, is he...?

Sounds like he needs to watch the "Never talk to the police" vids on YT.

Once again we see what you get when you try to be "helpful" to Leviathan.

Care to bet the sum of your choice that he's one of the ones who got slammed in the WaPo "worst dealers" article?

This thing gets filthier by the day!

I'm STILL waiting for someone to tell me how this could possibly have helped "make a big case against a cartel."...


Anonymous said...

When this sh!t storm gets too close to obummer and holder, rest assured there will be a false flag-smoke screen that will make all this go away.

DC Wright said...

Dedicated Dad, what I am yet wondering is just how ILLEGAL drugs come under the already unconstitutional "authority" of the BATFags. It's the same song and dance that was given at Waco. Next thing, someone's going to come out and say that the cartels are molesting young children and THAT'S why the BATFags had to let guns walk across the border.

We need the Jumbotron of popcorn to watch THIS farce play out!

Anonymous said...

Somethin tells me someone is about to WAG-THE-DOG. Its about to get hot in DC. Hmmm. Bet the cove is a good story as well. Maybe more Re-election retoric for all to spit at...

John - Florida