Bloomberg News

Holder to Face Lawmakers’ Questions on U.S. Gun Operation

January 09, 2012

(Updates with Issa statement in final paragraph.)

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will testify about a federal gun operation before a House panel whose chairman accused the Justice Department of “shameful” conduct related to the matter.

Holder will appear Feb. 2 before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to discuss the “Fast and Furious” program, which allowed illegal U.S. gun purchases in an effort to link the weapons to Mexican drug cartels, the panel said today.

The chairman of the committee is Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, who has been investigating the operation. It will be the third time Holder testifies before a congressional panel about Fast and Furious since November.

Two of about 2,000 guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed to be carried away were found at the scene of the December 2010 murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in Arizona, according to a congressional report. ATF is part of the Justice Department.

The ATF program was “reckless” and shouldn’t have gone forward, Holder said during Dec. 8 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Holder asked the department’s inspector general to examine the matter.

“The Department of Justice’s conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful,” Issa said in a statement.

--Editors: Justin Blum, Laurie Asseo

To contact the reporter on this story: Seth Stern in Washington at sstern14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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