There was some quiet following the Justice Department’s Inspector General report on Fast and Furious. No more.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to B. Todd Jones, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, last week (and recently obtained by NPR), asking for detailed information on personnel changes following the IG report.
The letter asks about William McMahon, a top ATF deputy who the lawmakers say went on paid leave after the scandal broke and allegedly received a second salary working for investment bank J.P. Morgan. The Inspector General faulted McMahon among other officials for the failures of Fast and Furious.
“The situation appears to be one in which McMahon is improperly exploiting the taxpayers with ATF’s approval, drawing two paychecks for months while only working one job overseas in the private sector,” the letter states. “Yet, ATF has stood mute, refusing to dispute that public impression.”
The lawmakers previously alleged in August that McMahon, who served as the Deputy Assistant Director at ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, was allowed to remain on paid leave for almost half a year so he could reach retirement eligibility. The lawmakers say Jones has not responded to their August letter.
In the most recent letter, the lawmakers also decry what they say appears to be retribution against an ATF agent who blew the whistle on the gun-tracing investigation. They say ATF agent John Dodson was notified last week that ATF had conducted and closed an internal investigation of him, and Internal Affairs has forwarded the findings to the agency’s Professional Review Board. The letter also states that Dodson and his legal counsel were now allowed to view the findings of the investigation.
“Given the secrecy and timing of this alleged Internal Affairs investigation, it raises the question of whether this is a thinly veiled attempt to punish Special Agent Dodson for speaking to Congress about Operation Fast and Furious,” the lawmakers wrote.
The letter also asks for a copy of the Internal Affairs report against Dodson, a list of of the members of ATF’s Professional Review Board and a list of other ATF officials who were mentioned in the Justice Department’s Inspector General report and who are currently under investigation by ATF.
An ATF spokesman told NPR that the agency is reviewing the letter. He declined to comment further to NPR.