House Oversight Committee member Rep. John Mica (R-FL) took to Fox News last week to promote the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration had ATF agents let guns “walk” during Operation Fast and Furious in an effort to boost political will for enacting gun control.
Mica’s comments came a few days before Wednesday’s scheduled vote on a resolution holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, though there are signs the matter could be settled and the vote delayed.“People forget how all of this started. This administration is a gun-control administration. They tried to put the violence in Mexico on the blame of the United States. So they concocted this scheme and actually sending our federal agents, sending guns down there, and trying to cook some little deal to say that we have got to get more guns under control,” Mica said, a theory that is supported by absolutely zero evidence. “That’s how this all started.”
The list of Republicans who have promoted the conspiracy theory includes Reps. Trent Franks, Blake Farenthold, Joe Walsh and Dan Lungren.
The only regulation enacted to combat gun trafficking during the Obama administration is a measure which treats the so-called “long guns” preferred by Mexican drug cartels the same way as handguns are treated in four border states. Gun dealers in those four states are required to report sales of two or more weapons to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Documents obtained by TPM through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that ATF didn’t even ask the White House for permission before seeking to publish the emergency request in the Federal Register in December of 2010.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who heads the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, has said he regrets not telling others in DOJ’s leadership when he learned in April 2010 that guns were “walked” during a Bush-era operation ATF operation known as Operation Wide Receiver. He said he believed the problem was dealt with after he talked to ATF leadership. Breuer’s deputy Jason Weinstein said he was “stunned” when he learned in April 2010 of the tactic being used during the Bush administration.
Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010 with a weapon purchased as a part of Fast and Furious in January 2010.
Video of Mica’s appearance on Hannity is embedded below.