ATF set to destroy weapons associated with Obama-era Fast and Furious scandal


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is set to destroy firearms associated with the Obama-era Operation Fast and Furious scandal, prompting a rebuke from the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

The ATF notified the House and Senate Judiciary Committees of its decision to dispose of the weapons this week. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the move was inappropriate given the scandal was still a matter of public concern.

“Although the ATF apparently intends to overlook its dangerous misconduct in Operation Fast and Furious, the scandal is still a matter of public concern,” Jordan wrote in a letter to the ATF on Tuesday. “Given the potential for ongoing criminal and civil actions, it is not in the interests of justice for the ATF to destroy potential evidence associated with Operation Fast and Furious.”

The ATF’s decision came after the Department of Justice’s Inspector General conducted an audit of an ATF storage site in West Virginia where “thousands of firearms, parts firearms and ammunition had been stolen”.

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Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the move was inappropriate given the scandal was still a matter of public concern.
(Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The audit found that weapons seized in Operation Fast and Furious were improperly stored above an emergency safe. The weapons, according to the audit, were stored in this manner, although there was room for firearms in the emergency safe.

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“While these firearms were secured in shipping crates, the crates could be accessed by a person using one of the ladders kept in the same area of ​​the facility,” the inspector general’s report said.

Operation Fast and Furious was a high-profile scandal that ensnared former President Barack Obama's Justice Department, the ATF and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Operation Fast and Furious was a high-profile scandal that ensnared former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, the ATF and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
((AP Photo/Andrew Harnik))

The Inspector General recommended that the ATF dispose of the weapons as they were not mission critical to the agency. The ATF accepted the recommendation after confirming that “all criminal investigations, internal DOJ reviews, and civil lawsuits relating to Operation Fast and Furious have been completed and stored evidence from this investigation no longer requires review.” ‘be preserved’.

Jordan, who is expected to lead the House Judiciary Committee when Republicans take office in January, disagrees with the assessment and urges the ATF to keep the guns.

Operation Fast and Furious saw federal agents authorize the illegal sale of more than 2,000 firearms to known or suspected straw buyers.

Operation Fast and Furious saw federal agents authorize the illegal sale of more than 2,000 firearms to known or suspected straw buyers.
((Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images))

“Earlier this year, Mexican prosecutors charged seven people with crimes related to Operation Fast and Furious, including the former senior Mexican police officer and a former Mexican federal police officer.
Commander,” he wrote.

Operation Fast and Furious was a high-profile scandal that ensnared former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, the ATF and former Attorney General Eric Holder. The imbroglio saw federal agents authorize the illegal sale of more than 2,000 firearms to known or suspected straw buyers.

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At the time, the federal government hoped the weapons could be used to track and eventually arrest high-ranking drug cartel leaders in Mexico. The sting operation backfired, however, with the weapons being used to facilitate crimes along the US-Mexico border.

The scandal broke in 2011 shortly after two firearms involved in the sting were found at a crime scene where a US Border Patrol agent was killed.

ATF declined to comment.


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