Congressman Smith Responds to IG Report on Operation Fast & Furious
I issued the following statement in response to today’s release of the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious.
The Inspector General’s report confirms what we’ve known all along -- that the Justice Department failed to properly oversee a program that allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico, endangering public safety and ultimately contributing to the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The report found that senior officials at DOJ and ATF should have asked questions about Operation Fast and Furious to determine details of the program before signing off on wiretap applications. Administration officials were so careless that even when reports confirmed the risks of Operation Fast and Furious, no one did anything to stop the program.
The Inspector General found that the Justice Department not only failed to properly oversee the program, but also repeatedly made false and misleading statements to Congress about the existence of the gun-walking. It is clear that the individuals responsible for overseeing this program were not up to the task then and do not deserve to remain in their positions now.
The resignation of Deputy Assistant Attorney General Weinstein is a step in the right direction toward taking responsibility for the negligence that led to Agent Terry’s death. But the Attorney General also must take responsibility for his lack of leadership that contributed to the Fast and Furious fiasco.