White House Blocks Access to ‘Fast and Furious’ Witness – Ball’s Back In Issa’s Court

Arrest Eric Holder Tee Shirt

Friday afternoon, Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz  appeared on Fox News’  Megyn Kelly Show  to discuss the latest news in the multi-department, criminal Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.  is willing to testify about what he knows, the Obama administration won’t let him appear before Congress. Chaffetz told Kelly that although key White House witness, Kevin O’Reilly  is willing to testify about what he knows, the Obama administration won’t let him appear before Congress.

White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler sent a letter Thursday to Republican lawmakers Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley, refusing their request to speak with Kevin O’Reilly, a former National Security staff member whose emails place him in the middle of the unfolding scandal. Issa and Grassley had written to Ruemmler on March 28, asking the White House to step aside and let O’Reilly talk to investigators.

Grassley is the GOP ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose members include Chaffetz.

“[O’Reilly’s] personal attorney indicated that he’s more than willing to talk to the committee, on the record, under oath”” Chaffetz told Kelly during her Friday afternoon broadcast. “It is only the White House and the White House Counsel that is saying they will not make him available.” (RELATED: Full coverage of Operation Fast and Furious)

During his time at the White House, records show, O’Reilly carried on an email conversation with Frank Newell, then the head of the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Their emails suggest that Newell was directly briefing O’Reilly on Fast and Furious.

In one email, Newell wrote to O’Reilly, “You didn’t get this from me,” indicating that he may have been subverting the established chain of command within the Department of Justice, which oversees ATF.

In another, Newell said, “Just don’t want ATF HQ to find out, especially since this is what they should be doing (briefing you!).”

Read the rest, and watch the video, here.

Newell, suffering from acute amnesia, was unable answer any questions about the email exchange when he appeared before the committee on July 26, 2011:

“To date, the White House has not complied with multiple congressional requests to interview O’Reilly,” Issa and Grassley wrote in their letter to Ruemmler. “Our staffers have had extensive discussions with lawyers in your office, who have represented that the White House does not perceive any need for us to interview O’Reilly and consequently will not make arrangements for him to speak to us.”

Speaking with Fox News Channel host Greta Van Susteren last week, Grassley said that while Newell and O’Reilly are friends, “it’s very, very unusual to have someone at a field office communicating directly with someone at the National Security Council.”

Grassley hinted that Newell’s poor memory about his emails with O’Reilly looked suspicious. “It’s very convenient that he’d have an absence of mind when he’s under oath in front of a congressional committee,” he said.

The ball is now in Issa’s court.
He dropped a hint of what might happen next in a recent  NRA News interview:

The constitution should get in the way of this White House, but so far, they’ve played pretty fast and loose with the Constitution; the First and the Second Amendment, and ultimately, what we are in a position to do is go past the White House and deliver a lawful subpoena, and deliver it by U.S. Marshal.

Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!

8 thoughts on “White House Blocks Access to ‘Fast and Furious’ Witness – Ball’s Back In Issa’s Court

  1. It is mind boggling to me that Issa and Grassley have taken so much time to travel such a short distance. Are they being obstructed by republican leadership?
    The democrats manage to take issues from zero to light speed almost instantly. And we sit and wait for… well, I guess we will need wait a bit longer.


  2. I suspect the entire purpose of the hearings before both Issa and Grassley are for the circus effect, much like the blithering idiot jackass from CA loved to do during the Bush administration. The hearings are all for show, none of it is for real investigation, and the wounded witnesses and purported targets can walk away with a little easily removed egg on their face.

    If either Issa or Grassley was serious, they would have been arguing about “executive privilege” a year ago before the SCOTUS.

    I look for something tangible to come out of the hearings sometime in 2353.


  3. I expect the White House will be receiving a sternly worded letter from Issa shortly. They’re probably quaking in their boots right now.


  4. Pingback: Chaffetz: Why won’t the White House let us talk to Fast & Furious witness? | Congressman Tom Tancredo

  5. A good place to start would be to arrest the entire Obama Administration for treason and jail them all for the crimes they alone have perpetrated against the People of the United States and our Constitution.
    this scumbag in the Oval Office knows nothing about transparency, nor does he intend to allow “The People” any disinfecting light to be shed on his corrupt administration.


  6. Pingback: Why the Media Silence on Operation Fast and Furious? – John Malcolm

  7. Pingback: Romney asked to uphold the case -Holder of Fast and Furious be dismissed or resigns | Strike of Lightning!

  8. Pingback: Chaffetz: Holder Ignoring Fast and Furious Subpoena is “Total Embarrassment” « News Worldwide

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