Darrell Issa Talks Fast and Furious Fallout
Oversight chairman on 'FNS'
- Duration 14:49
- Date Oct 9, 2011
Oversight chairman on 'FNS'
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And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
The Obama administration is now being rocked by two scandals.
Operation fast and furious.
And the a warning about half billion dollar federal loan guarantee to select a drop.
A solar panel company that went -- -- Our first guest is at the center of both investigations paralyzed the chairman of the house oversight and Government Reform Committee and congressman.
Welcome back to FOX News Sunday.
Well thanks for having me on and for covering two issues of the many many issues that are causing Americans to lose confidence in -- government -- let's start with fast and furious in which ATF agents allowed.
More than 2000.
Weapons to be sold illegally to cross the border that we're gonna try to -- them to -- to.
Catch drug traffickers they lost track of a number of them.
Hundreds and adopt with a Mexican drug cartel and two of them ended up with the murder scene of the US Border Patrol agent I want to take you back today.
When you have this now famous exchange for the attorney general holder here it.
When did you first know about the program.
Officially -- -- called fast and furious.
To the best your knowledge what date to.
I'm not sure the exact date -- probably heard about fast and furious for the first time over the last few weeks.
Congress Landis then that you are going to issue a new set of subpoenas to the attorney general this week about -- what about fast and furious and basically at this.
And about why are they denying knowing about something that they were briefed on.
Exactly when the American people want to know how did it happen.
Understand we didn't start off going after the attorney general or -- landing for anyone else and just as we started off knowing -- Bryan Terry was dead.
That a lot of us border particularly Border Patrol agent and that a lot of weapons had been -- walk.
After that we started being told things like by -- Justice Department designated official we never let weapons walk now we have.
Literally emails in which they're concerned about how so many walking and you said something and I don't mean to correct you -- to expand.
We didn't just have a few not be tracked the whole program is about not tracking them until they were found at the scene of crimes.
And they didn't just allow they facilitated just -- one good one gun violence straw buyer bought over 700 weapons so so specifically what are your subpoenas of we want to know what did they know and when did they know it but more importantly.
We that we have to understand at what level -- the authorization really come it wasn't an ATF operation they were part of that it was a joint operation in which DEA.
New more than ATF drug enforcement.
And registration -- for ATF alcohol tobacco firearms and of course these are all part of Department of Justice.
And as we're beginning to see.
And if we're not -- and Eric Holder at this moment but.
People at the top of justice were well briefed knew about it and seem to be the command to control and funding for this program.
And any law enforcement person who's ever been asked underwrote or not underwrote comes back and says this wasn't the right way to do it well.
When did they know wasn't the right way to do it and why -- they keep doing it and it subpoena the attorney general to testify again.
The judiciary committee on which -- also -- that's where there that actual question got asked.
He is has invited him to come and clear the record because clearly He knew.
When He said He didn't know now the question is what did He know and how is He going to explain why He gave that answer -- -- the attorney.
-- -- to a letter Friday afternoon along with other top officials in both the house and the senate I wanna go through some of his.
Pushed back He acknowledges that several -- -- and -- you -- -- -- heavily redacted.
On the way we usually get on the interstates were sent to hit it to his office as much as ten months earlier not the few weeks before He testified in May -- 2011.
But recess and I want to put up his comments from his water I do not and cannot read them cover to cover.
Here know which is concerning fast and furious were brought to my attention.
Because the information presented in the reports did not suggest a problem he's saying.
I didn't know about this program and I certainly didn't know that we were letting comes walk.
Well I'll take him and his word but let's go back.
He answered before Judiciary Committee myself Jason -- -- and others that He didn't know about until two weeks earlier.
Disingenuous on its face very clearly.
He had to know.
When Brian Terry was killed and everyone realized these were fast and furious weapons He had to know that something serious had happened and that's months before He says He knew.
Now if we assume for a moment He -- know the question is is He competent.
If in fact a Border Patrol -- been murdered 2000 weapons -- gone this program has completely gone off the rails.
Why didn't He know and that's probably a more important question for the chief law enforcement officer.
Is -- Lanny brewer knew why didn't Eric Holder and -- neighbor of one of his top but of his top aides who is very involved.
Much earlier on.
And I -- works in the same off.
-- holder points out the top officials also brief view.
In April 20 -- just around the time that He was first hearing of all that's.
He writes let's put it up I'm aware the chairman Isaiah has said that He was not briefed.
On the unacceptable deet tails of fast and furious in other words the fact they were letting the -- walked.
Two questions one is that true were you briefed I've not told and secondly if it is true.
How do you know that He was also not -- The -- interesting thing is he's quoting -- story that He planted the justice shopped around to the newspapers but having said that I'll answer it.
We were looking into the drug problem we asked for a briefing we got a briefing including Kenneth Nelson.
We asked -- of ATF one of the people that.
Knew about the program but didn't know all the other things that He ultimately read in a still sealed.
That when He read the wiretap and understood how much they knew that this was deliberately letting bad guns guns go to the -- drug cartels.
He became sick to his stomach so yes but my question is are to -- saying you were killed.
About fast and furious and and and that the gun walking so Heidi you know that He wasn't the first ball.
It was concealed from us by the Justice Department that briefing they were not allowed to know what Kenneth -- later -- and made him sick to his stomach.
Let's understand ATF's running an operation they're being told guns aren't getting to the bad guys.
Ultimately the whistle blower came forward when He realized of course guns are getting to the bad guys.
-- this investigation is not about an operation that that was supposed to Trace guns this is about.
Justice Department know winning and this is where the American people have a right to know more.
No -- that these guns were deliberately intended to end up in the hands of the drug cartels without any kind of Trace ability.
Except if you find the gun at the scene of the crime.
That is the reason that this is a felony stupid and I use the word felony deliberately program.
They should be criminal to let criminals have thousands of deadly weapons I have to point out because holder does in his latter.
The Bush Administration had a similar operation called operation wide receiver that also He says like guns -- well first of all.
Eric Holder came in wanting to indict people from that administration so I think his standard of will be other administration did it too is not so good.
But understand from what we can discover from wide receiver and those by the way we have subpoenas for those in those documents have not been delivered.
Very few weapons.
Very very well traced overhead observation and so on what you would think would happen if you -- a weapons start to move where you Trace -- every step.
This was one where they left the weapons go and never looked until they showed up at the scene of Brian Terry's murder.
Some of your republic Republican colleagues have called for a special prosecutor.
To look into holder's involvement some -- called on holder to resign do you join either of them.
Well I've always taken the -- that the president.
Picks the people He has full confidence and the president still seems to helpful competence and Eric Holder something I don't share.
When it comes to a special prosecutor.
Eric Holder cannot investigate himself.
Congress is well along the way of investigating this operation to find out what went wrong who knew it.
And what we have to do in the future to make sure it can't happen again.
If there's a special prosecutor to look at the narrow issue of top officials who.
And -- be political appointees.
That's a separate a separate issue our investigation along with senator Grassley.
-- to get to the bottom of this sooner not later -- American people and the people in Mexico don't trust their government right now let's.
Turned to the other scandals -- for the Obama administration had a document dump might Friday.
Hundreds of pages of emails -- and Friday afternoon the when -- is about Friday got it right nominates say it all administrations do it to be fair fair overview before we get into a couple of specifics what's your take away from the document -- But they're trying to buried into the weekend but just as a document dump a week earlier gave us the Eric -- situation.
What we're finding is.
It isn't just lender it's a pattern of these sorts of of investments -- understand on the last day that the law was -- -- four point 75 billion dollars.
Was thrown into loans and one of the questions we have for secretary to his.
Won't tell us why that last day.
Somehow you had everything you needed and He didn't have it over a period of time before.
The American people have a right to note that on those rare occasions in which their money is used to invest in private operations and if you will take bets on capitalism.
That this is very well vetted very well thought out and without political interference.
-- is a story of political interference picking winners and losers -- salacious because.
Quite frankly there were a lot of people giving to president Obama's campaign.
But it's also a question of why are we doing this and when a loan goes bad.
Why is the government somehow coming in are they coming in because a little more money we'll save the company.
Or they coming in for political purposes to cover up because they want to delay the inevitable which in the case of -- -- -- they were inevitably going bankrupt.
The last time they got money.
But that but here's the question that there's no quit giving.
Barack Obama made no bones about it He wanted to support cleaner energy there was an eagerness.
As part of the stimulus it was part of an open part of the stimulus to support -- Green clean energy programs.
Some would say that there was a rush to judgment could put this money out there without doing due diligence question.
Do you have evidence of corruption.
That's a little truck got a half billion dollar federal loan guarantee.
A political connections.
If I can explain.
-- -- where the problem gets bad it's not the original loan.
What there is Chris is when they got in trouble and we went in in -- the government went in in violation of congressional mandate.
And subordinated alone meaning.
-- other creditors and a better position private creditors would get it would get much -- paid back on this bankruptcy before the federal tax exactly.
There is -- the question happens why did we -- the protocol that was required why did we do something is strictly prohibited that's where you start asking the questions.
Look I I have disagreements with the president on policies and particularly on what He calls Green energy understand that the transit bus drivers trained to drive a diesel bus they call it a Green job.
So I have problems with a lot of what they call Green.
But at the same time.
Once the decision was made -- committee unlike the energy and commerce committee that looks a lot of broader issues.
I'm looking at was process followed the American people have a right to expect that the rule of law will guarantee that even if we don't like a policy.
That it's done properly.
This is where I have a problem with how the money was spent this is where the IDs gonna have additional problems.
And and this is where yes we're gonna look for political interference because you have to ask why would we put our the government at a disadvantage.
When we're putting in more money that -- I'd like -- you're saying you're not.
Investigating the question of counseling for getting alone has been thought there was.
Big fund raiser for Obama George Kaiser and He was big investor -- lender you're not looking at that you're looking at the question of what was done at the tale land.
To try to shore up that the company into -- investors at the expense of the -- But the American people will judge the overall policy and how they pick winners and loser remember this was a 500 million dollar earmark effectively by political appointees.
Something that you hear about with congress you don't always hear about what the president.
My view is my committee's jurisdiction and energy and commerce and doing great job is my jurisdiction is to try to figure out how it doesn't happen again.
So we're each taking a piece of it.
But I'm looking at a lot of others -- bit difficult.
Yeah I'm gonna pick up on this really got -- about a minute left you say government shouldn't apply venture capitalists that shouldn't be picking winners and losers but.
It turns out that you sent several letters over the last couple of years to the federal Energy Department asking for federal loan guarantees.
For clean energy company is in your state.
How did you do the same thing that's it -- accusing them -- do.
Chris it's a very valid question here's the difference every member of congress they almost -- them.
Send in and say I've got somebody in my district you should look at.
There's a big difference between sending a letter in for an existing pot of money for a program I voted against.
And having the ability to actually pick winners and losers which we don't hang out.
Perhaps -- make your check your suddenly you were saying and it gets out -- which has one of the companies here saying to the federal Energy Department.
Give them -- Garrett to not give them -- -- guarantee.
Our letter actually recognize and by the way -- loan.
Probably has never been process it expired without them getting it.
What we were saying they were successful in just -- -- but the the request was they have a loan application and would you please give me yes or no.
And that's a big difference a lot of loans -- and -- these people spent money.
Processing and they never heard in the cases lender up.
They contributed heavily into Barack Obama and they got alone and they got -- quickly they got an expedited the email show.
That there was hurry all the way up to the vice president we've got to do what we're getting a lot of pressure.
There's a big difference there -- -- are gonna have to leave it there wanna thank you so much for coming in today and we will stay on top of bull story answer thank.