Issa-Grassley Letter Demands Info From White House On Project Gunwalker

Sharyl Attkisson reported a few minutes ago that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have sent a letter today to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon requesting e-mails and other information from three current or former White House staffers.

The staffers are: Kevin O’Reilly, former Director of North American Affairs, National Security Council; Dan Restrepo, Special Assistant to the President, National Security Council; and Greg Gatjanis, Director for Terrorist Finance and Counternarcotics, Counterterrorism Policy, National Security Council.

The information requests were made after revelations that ATF’s Special Agent in Charge of Phoenix during Fast and Furious, William Newell, “provided regular updates to Kevin O’Reilly” at the White House…”as early as the summer of 2010.” The emails indicate O’Reilly asked to share information about Fast and Furious with Restrepo and Gatjanis.

In addition to the new documents request, the Congressional Republicans also requested to interview O’Reilly by the end of this month.

The White House is denying all prior knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious according to a statement from an “unnamed” White House official.

“As has already been reported, the emails referenced in this letter affirm that no one at the White House knew about the investigative tactics being used in the operation, let alone any decision to let guns walk. To the extent that some NSS staffers were briefed on the toplines of ongoing federal efforts, so were members of Congress. The Washington Post reported that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa received a Fast and Furious briefing in April of 2010. These types of top-line briefings would not include a discussion of the investigative tactics like gun-walking. These e-mail exchanges show nothing more than an effort to give local color to a policy initiative that was designed to give more resources to help with the border problem. They don’t even contain the name “Fast and Furious” until February 2011, after the indictment was unsealed.”

If you have been following Mike Vanderboegh’s reports on Sipsey Street Irregulars, you know that he has had Dan Restrepo in his sights since the Spring. Today he gave some more background on him from his time as a staffer for former Rep. Lee Hamilton. As Mike notes about Restrepo’s reputation,

He has been described by sources who know him as “ruthless,” “amoral,” and a “f-cking political thug” who would “sell his mother or stab his father” if he thought he could thereby get ahead.

Just the kind of loyal political functionary to carry out a sensitive, secret operation like the Gunwalker Plot.


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