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The investigation into the botched fast and furious gun running operation escalating tonight.
Our next guest says the scandal reaches into the highest level of the US Justice Department.
He is pressing attorney general Eric Holder to turn over emails and other materials joining us now the chairman of the house oversight.
And Government Reform Committee congressman -- -- -- mister chairman great to have you with us.
Well thanks for having me on -- and thanks for covering this important subject or -- thank you refer for carrying out this investigation.
I'm working in the letter sent.
Eric Holder in which there are twelve names here.
Top officials of the Justice Department working for all of their records.
And you're demanding delivery by the eighteenth of July next week.
What do you think the response is going to be.
We'll expect this is.
One where compliance should be expected in and it's fairly easy to go through this limited number of about people's emails and deliver we want.
Justus knows that this is the result of whistle blowers plus the ATF acting director.
And so we have cooperation of these communications we now want to see there the first ten communications.
Because we now know that there were failures.
At justice that led to.
Brian Terry and others dying at the hands of guns that never should have been -- hand.
Of the worst of the worst in the drug business the US Border Patrol agent Brian Carey who was murdered.
And which operation fast and -- guns were two of them were found in of the crime exactly what what is your reaction.
Two ATF director Kenneth Nelson's interview with third congressional investigators he said he wanted to cooperate with your investigation.
But he told.
He he's sad to the investigators.
That the Justice Department had directed him and other officials to quote unquote.
That's correct as early as senator Grassley is letter.
Nelson who had been briefed congress and other times several let me go up and explain this.
He was told not to and then of course as we discovered that there were a lot of things he didn't really know.
I'll that we now know that certainly would've made it hard for him to give an explanation that would have.
-- us for good reason this was a bad program with a lot of unknown factors and a lot of mistakes that we can never -- happen again.
-- -- Lou we're the government oversight and reform committee and it's that reform that we have to ensure happens in this case.
-- -- Warm.
It appears to be reaching to the Justice Department the president states has declared.
That the attorney general knew nothing about operation fast and furious what do you think.
Well the president can't know what somebody else knows what -- -- what we do know is Eric Holder said he only found out a couple of weeks.
Before hearing long after Bryan Terry the Border Patrol agent had been killed long after this program was in ruins.
What we did find that was an April 2 of 2009.
Eric Holder flights to Mexico City and makes a speech about this bold initiative.
And all the emphasis he's gonna put on getting to the kingpins.
If he was so engaged that he would fly to Mexico.
Do this speech talking around fast and furious it's hard for us to believe that all throughout that.
-- year plus process and even as this program fell apart and became a problem for justice.
That nobody should have told him something.
So Lou we're probably not gonna we're gonna take the attorney general is word.
But we're gonna say well then why wasn't -- how could you not do it and that'll be a question for Lanny -- and others if you're a loyal to your boss how could you not tell him about this long before he says he found out.
In the newspapers.
And our other.
AE ATF agents and we should point out.
ATF feel agents bagged.
There and superiors not to carry out this operation correct correct.
And -- correct their so called superiors absolutely refused to listen to them are more agents stepping forward or.
Have actions that the Justice Department and they -- have taken.
Succeeding in in chilling.
-- the chilling is -- behind us for the most part ATF agents are coming forward they understand that speaking to congress is is virtually an obligation when there's an investigation like that.
We've had very candid very revealing.
Testimony and in some cases documents produced and in these voluntary discoveries and I wanna.
Point out that the vast majority people we interviewed.
These were good citizen right soldiers of the various parts of the of justice and ATF.
They come forward in spite of being discouraged to do so by the administration.
And it has given us the ability to understand and so whether it's Dotson already the other whistle blowers it has helped us a great deal and understanding what went wrong here.
Turning to the White House itself now you're investigating the fundraising efforts at least of one.
Commercial -- -- is the way to put it that have been videotaped.
At the White House and whether or not that was.
A breach of law.
Word is that investigation stand what are your next up.
Well -- we're relatively in the beginning and we're in the beginning by asking the questions based on what we believe -- happened and and reports have already come out on.
What's important for your viewers to understand is.
Might my predecessors did the same thing with previous administrations.
The difference in the past was there was an office of of political affairs so you had a person to call then you could ask him questions.
That person -- be responsible for that divide.
And policy now we have a situation not just -- -- commercial but also with a high level contributor.
Event held in inside the White House and a range by the did -- Democratic National Committee.
And with them present.
And we've got questions about how could they think.
That that would be appropriate if it's official the DNC shouldn't be there if it's political it shouldn't be in the blue room so we're trying to get to the bottom of that but it's early.
And we want to give the president the opportunity to explain how his policies could let this happen and what he's gonna do to prevent this in the future.
Congressman -- I -- chairman of the house oversight committee.
Thank you for me.