In an article on today’s hearings into Operation Fast and Furious, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson has this update on William Newell’s testimony.
Update, 2:40 p.m.: The special agent in charge of the Phoenix ATF office during gunwalking scandal, Bill Newell, testified early this afternoon that he discussed the program with a White House staffer.
Newell said he talked to his friend, Kevin O’Reilly, who is listed the White House’s Director for North America at the National Security Council.
This is, to my knowledge, the first direct indication that at least one staffer in the White House was aware of Operation Fast and Furious. There is no way to know currently whether he passed this information to others on the NSC or up the chain to the President’s office.
With every revelation in Project Gunwalker, it just keeps getting more and more interesting.
UPDATE: David Codrea examines the significance of the NSC’s Director for North America being in the loop about Project Gunwalker here.
What’s evident from today’s exchange is Issa’s committee has some degree of access to past Newell/O’Reilly email correspondence. How much is one question. Where following up on what they have will lead—and how high up—is another, and the most important one of all.