The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) undercover operation known as “Fast and Furious” has taken a new turn.
Recently released White House documents show extensive communication between a White House national security staffer, Kevin O’Reilly, and ATF Special Agent William Newell, who helped lead that operation. Contrary to what the Obama administration has consistently maintained, the emails clearly demonstrate that the White House and the ATF Phoenix had direct communications regarding the sale and transport of guns across the U.S.-Mexico border. Currently, investigators believe that thousands of weapons found their way into the hands of suspected traffickers under this program. At least two weapons traced to the program were found on the murder scene of a Border Patrol agent in December 2010. Additional crimes have also been connected with weapons linked to ATF.
However, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have questioned whether the program served as a means for the administration to advance furthering gun control in the U.S., an item high on the priority list of both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.