Attorney General Eric Holder is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 8 about ATF’s flawed Fast and Furious operation that let guns flow to Mexican drug cartels, a Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed to TPM.
Holder has agreed to a request from Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) to testify before the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) said in a statement.Issa has been hammering Holder over the anti-gun trafficking operation and a handful of Republican members of Congress have even called for his resignation though there’s been no evidence that Holder was aware of the “gun walking” tactics.
Cummings said in a letter to Issa that he’d like former ATF Director Ken Melson to testify at a hearing.
“A hearing with Mr. Melson would help the Committee and the American people better understand what mistakes were made in Operation Fast and Furious, how these tactics originated, who did and did not authorize them, and what steps are being taken to ensure that they are not used again,” Cummings wrote.
“With respect to our own Committee’s investigation,” Cummings wrote, “I do not believe it will be viewed as legitimate or credible — and I do not believe the public record will be complete — without public testimony from Kenneth Melson.”
Melson’s attorney said he would be “pleased to cooperate,” according to Cummings.
As TPM previously reported, ATF’s Phoenix division deployed “gun walking” tactics dating back to the Bush administration.