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Citing DOJ Efforts to Tie Him to Gun ‘Walking,’ Charlton Drops Terry Family

Posted By David Baumann On November 3, 2011 @ 9:29 am In News | Comments Disabled

Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton said Wednesday that he will no longer represent the family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, citing Justice Department efforts to tie him to a gun walking operation that occurred while he was in office, the Arizona Star reported [1]

As an attorney in private practice, Charlton has represented represents Terry’s family in their efforts to be classified as victims of a crime. Terry’s death has ties to the controversial Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation known as Fast and Furious. During that operation,  Barack Obama administration DOJ officials allegedly allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico in order to trace them. The probe is now the subject of multiple investigations.

However, in recent weeks, the Justice Department has said that gun walking was not unique to the Obama administration and that  it also was endorsed by the George W. Bush administration as part of Operation Wide Receiver, an earlier gun-smuggling probe.

That probe began in 2006, during Charlton’s tenure as U.S. Attorney in Arizona. Charlton later was one of the U.S. attorneys removed by DOJ officials, in a purge that the department’s Inspector General said was politically motivated.

In an interview [2]with Main Justice last month, Charlton said he does not remember a probe known as Operation Wide Receiver, adding that during his tenure “we had thousands of people arrested.”  But he added, “I’m responsible for everything that happened in that office.”

However, the Star reported, a 2006 memo from federal prosecutors to Charlton has surfaced; that memo discusses the gun walking issue. Charlton told the newspaper he would not have approved such an operation.

Charlton said Wednesday that each time Fast and Furious is brought up, the Obama administration mentions Operation Wide Receiver.

Charlton said that his partner in Gallagher & Kennedy, Patrick McGroder III, will now represent the Terrys.

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