Any White House communications with ATF's Arizona office sought.
WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators reviewing the failed gun-tracking program Operation Fast and Furious have formally asked the Obama administration to turn over copies of "all records" involving three key White House national security officials and the program, other ATF gun cases in Phoenix, and all communications between the White House and the ATF field office in Arizona.
The letter signed Friday by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, was sent to national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon, a top aide to President Obama.
It marks a significant step in the committee's investigation into the failed gun-tracking operation, as the committee begins to broaden its investigation from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and targets White House and Department of Justice officials.
This material, Issa and Grassley said, "will enable us to determine the extent of the involvement of White House staff in Operation Fast and Furious."
White House officials, along with those at the Justice Department, said they have been cooperating in the widening probe, begun earlier this year when several ATF whistleblowers alerted Congress that Fast and Furious weapons were found at the scene of the slaying of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
Under the program, ATF agents allowed illegal gun purchases and hoped to track the weapons to Mexican cartel leaders. But most of the more than 2,000 firearms were lost. Hundreds have reportedly turned up in Mexican crime scenes, two at the shooting near Arivaca where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed, and a semi-automatic at an altercation and assault with police in Maricopa.
The congressional letter comes after a series of emails surfaced last week showing that William D. Newell, the ATF field supervisor in Phoenix during Fast and Furious, was in routine contact with Kevin O'Reilly, then the White House director of North American Affairs for the National Security Council. The emails discussed a broad range of gun-trafficking investigations on the Southwest Border, and White House officials have since acknowledged that the cases were part of Fast and Furious.
In: Regional News
Tags: Congressional, investigators, seek, All, records, of, Obama, aides, related, to, Fast, and, Furious, Any, White, House, communications, with, ATF's, Arizona, office, sought,
Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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