Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that he was unaware of the controversial Fast and Furious operation until last spring has been crumbling over the past week, after newly released documents showed that he received written briefings on the program as early as July, 2010. Defenders of Holder maintained that the attorney general overlooked the memos, since he receives “dozens” of briefings each week.
But now the Daily Caller reports that Holder received as many as five written weekly memos during the summer and fall of 2010, from a high-level National Drug Intelligence official, which gave highly detailed information on the program:
In summer 2010, Holder received briefing memos from National Drug Intelligence Center Director Michael Walther on July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26 and August 9. Each briefing memo contains the name “Operation Fast and Furious.” Each memo also contains a description of what appears to be how Operation Fast and Furious was conducted.
“This investigation, initiated in September 2009 in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Phoenix Police Department, involved a Phoenix-based firearms trafficking ring headed by Manuel Celis-Acosta,” each one of those briefings reads. “Celis-Acosta and straw purchasers are responsible for the purchase of 1,500 firearms that were then supplied to Mexican drug trafficking cartels.”
Obama still stuck by Holder today at a press conference, saying that he has “complete confidence in Attorney General Holder in how he handles his office.”
Maybe it’s possible that Holder just so happened to overlook the same five memos that focused on Fast and Furious. But as House Republicans have pointed out, that raises serious questions about his competence. Does Holder believe it’s okay to just throw out briefings? Even if the U.S. Attorney General is for some reason unable to read all of his memos each week, he must have staffers he delegates them to. An unforgivable error was made somewhere, and it sounds like someone in the Attorney General’s office has to go. The question is, will it be Holder himself?