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WH ‘Made It Impossible’ To Pursue F&F Lead

From CNS News:

IG: White House ‘Made it Impossible’ to Pursue Lead in Fast and Furious Probe

By Fred Lucas | September 20, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – The White House’s refusal to release communications related to the Fast and Furious gun-walking program and the refusal of a White House official to be interviewed about the matter “made it impossible” for the inspector general (IG) of the Justice Department to “pursue that aspect of the case,” the IG, Michael Horowitz, testified.

He added that the sought-after White House interview and communications constituted “a lead we wanted to follow.”

At a hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on Thursday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) asked Horowitz, “You noted also in your report that the White House refused to share internal communications with you during your investigation of Fast and Furious. We’ve noted a connection into the White House through Kevin O’Reilly at the National Security Council. Do you think the White House’s refusal to share these documents limited the scope of your investigation? Would this committee be well served by pursuing an investigation into that avenue?”

Horowitz answered, “Well, as we noted in the report, and as you know, congressman, we did not get internal communications from the White House and Mr. O’Reilly’s unwillingness to speak to us made it impossible for us to pursue that angle of the case and the question that had been raised."

Farenthold: "So it would probably be worthwhile for us to pursue?"

Horowitz: "Well, certainly we have sought to pursue every lead we could. So, I can tell you, from our standpoint it was a lead we wanted to follow.” …

Mr. O’Reilly is Kevin O’Reilly and when Fast and Furious was in operation he was a member of President Barack Obama’s National Security Staff.

The IG report states, “We also sought to interview Kevin O’Reilly, an official with the White House National Security Staff, about communications he had in 2010 with Special Agent in Charge William Newell that included information about Operation Fast and Furious. O’Reilly declined through his personal counsel our request for an interview.” …

At the hearing on Thursday, Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R_Calif.) asked Inspector General Horowitz: “Kevin O’Reilly. Could you tell us a little bit about your effort to reach out to Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House national security team?

Horowitz said: “We reached out to his lawyer, requested an interview. We have no basis to compel interviews from individuals who work outside the Department of Justice. He was not working in the Department of Justice so we had to ask for a voluntary interview and he denied ….”

Mr. O’Reilly was still an employee of the federal government, so the White House could have told him to give the interview. Instead, they refused to grant him permission to be interviewed. Why is that?

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been seeking to interview O’Reilly for more than year. According to CBS News, the White House disclosed in the fall of 2011 that O’Reilly had been reassigned from the National Security Staff to a position with the State Department in Iraq.

O’Reilly’s attorney reportedly said that his client would agree to a telephone interview with the committee but only if the White House said okay. White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler has stated that O’Reilly will not be permitted to give an interview.

CBS reported, “citing Executive Branch confidentiality interests, Ruemmler said, ‘There is an insufficient basis to support the request to interview Mr. O’Reilly.’”

As always, try to imagine if a Republican White House stonewalled an investigation involving the deaths of two Americans and hundreds of Mexicans like this? But this won’t even warrant a mention from our mainstream media guardians.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, September 21st, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “WH ‘Made It Impossible’ To Pursue F&F Lead”

  1. ilzito guacamolito

    Executive Branch confidentiality interests?!? What about the interests of those whose employee he is namely the American people, Brian Terry and his family? Not important enough? How about the interests of the numerous Mexican nationals dead beacuse of this? No? I guess the only interest important enough is reelection.
    AB0 2012




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