The Justice Department’s Inspector General has found that dozens of high-level Justice Department and ATF officials were negligent in their supervision of failed gun-walking operation Fast and Furious, according to an exclusive report by Fox News.
Fox News obtained portions of IG Michael Horowitz’s report, which is expected to be released later this week or the beginning of next. Fox News’s William La Jeunesse writes that portions of the draft report reveal that the IG found “a failure in leadership and a lack of accountability and oversight up and down the chain of command at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosvies, the Justice Department itself and other offices.”
He continues: “It says many senior executives knew the U.S. was helping to traffic guns to Mexico that killed people but did nothing to stop it.”
The Fox report does not indicate what the IG says about Attorney General Eric Holder or other top-level department appointees. Much of the failures in the operation are credited to ATF Phoenix Agent in Charge Bill Newell, field office supervisor David Voth and case agent Hope MacAllister. Lawyers for the ATF officials told Fox that higher-ups within the agency were indeed aware of the tactics being used in the gun-running operation. They told Fox that the report’s finding that the plan for the operation was formulated in Phoenix is incorrect.
“We found no evidence in Operation Fast and Furious that the ATF or the (U.S. attorney’s office) attempted at any point during the investigation to balance the risks to the public safety against the long-term benefits of identifying trafficking networks and participants,” the draft report says according to Fox.
Holder has said he is waiting to take any corrective action in the wake of the Fast and Furious scandal until the IG report is released and its findings can be digested.
Horowitz is scheduled to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to discuss his report’s findings on Sept. 19.