Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona and a protege’ of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, is out as U.S. Attorney. The release below does not indicate whether he was fired or whether he resigned. However, the Arizona Republic is reporting that it is a resignation. Combined with the reassignment of Ken Melson, I would speculate that the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder are hoping this will take attention away from Project Gunwalker by making Melson and Burke the fall guys.
Burke and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona have been in the thick of Project Gunwalker since the start as numerous emails released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) have shown.
Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on the Resignation of U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the resignation of U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke:
“United States Attorney Dennis Burke has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office, first as a line prosecutor over a decade ago and more recently as United States Attorney.
“Under his leadership, the office has made great progress in its pursuit of justice with the creation of special units focusing on civil rights enforcement and rule of law, as well as more robust outreach to key communities, particularly in Indian Country. The office’s quick response to the devastating shootings in January that claimed the lives of several people and critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was crucial in arresting and charging the alleged shooter.
“I am grateful to Dennis for his dedication and service to the Department of Justice over these many years and commend his decision to place the interests of the U.S. Attorney’s office above all else.”
The story about Burke’s resignation in the Arizona Republic which I mention above has an interesting comment from former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) about the resignation.
Former Arizona Sen. Dennis DeConcini said if the resignation is tied to Fast and Furious, it would be a misguided effort to lay blame on Burke.
“If his resignation is tied to Fast and Furious, it’s ridiculous. It would be absolutely outrageous for ‘Justice Main’ to take it out on Dennis and make him the fall guy,” DeConcini said. “It’s just typical Washington cronyism. It just shows you how incompetent government can be to save themselves. It appears they screwed up, based on congressional hearings.”
Laurie Roberts, a columnist for the Arizona Republic, had this to say about Burke’s resignation which appears to be forced.
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who sits on the committee investigating Fast and Furious, has told me that he believes the responsibility for this lies at the top, in the office of Eric Holder or someplace nearby.
This move to dump Burke — who oversaw the operation — looks like an effort to make this mess go away.
My bet: it won’t happen. And it shouldn’t, not until the complete story is told.
FoxNews reports that Burke gave testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week which didn’t go well.
U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke, one of the officials closely tied to Fast and Furious, is also a casualty in a shakeup tied to the botched gun-running program. Burke was on the hot seat last week with congressional investigators and, according to several sources, got physically sick during questioning and could not finish his session.
Bob Owens, at Confederate Yankee, speculates that Burke resigned to save his own skin.
Burke is the same slimeball that blocked Brian Terry’s family from being recognized as crime victims in court after Terry was murdered and two Fast and Furious weapons were recovered at the scene of his death.
The only plausible reason Burke would have done that was an attempt to limit his own legal exposure and that of the government as it relates to investigations about Agent Terry’s murder.
Bob also thinks it looks like Grassley, Issa, and Cornyn have painted the Obama Administration into a corner which I agree with. However, I think we need to keep a really close eye on Obama and Holder now as, like any cornered animal, they are more dangerous when back into a corner.