Operation Fast and Furious, one of the Obama administration’s most alarming scandals, is making headlines once again this week following the announcement of a plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to destroy evidence related to the program.
Although proponents of the operation claimed at the time that allowing potentially dangerous criminals to purchase U.S. guns would allow authorities to track the weapons and ultimately arrest Mexican cartel members, the program was a spectacular failure.
Not only were just a fraction of the firearms ever recovered, but two of the guns used in the operation were discovered at the location where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was ambushed and killed more than a decade ago.
Now, the ATF is pursuing a plan to destroy all of the remaining weapons from the sting — but U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is hoping to prevent that from happening.
Jordan, who is the ranking Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the bureau this week in which he denounced the move as an effort to get rid of evidence of wrongdoing by federal government officials.
“Although the ATF apparently intends to forget its dangerous misconduct in Operation Fast and Furious, the scandal is still a matter of public concern,” the Ohio Republican wrote, urging the agency to “immediately take steps to preserve all evidence associated with Operation Fast and Furious and confirm in writing that you have done so.”
In addition to unanswered questions regarding the U.S. government’s role in the botched operation, Jordan noted that Mexican authorities are also working to prosecute suspects involved in crimes using the firearms.
“I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision and request that you preserve this evidence,” he concluded.
While the bureau subsequently acknowledged that it was in possession of Jordan’s letter, it did not have a statement regarding his demand.
A number of high-ranking Obama administration officials were implicated in wrongdoing related to the so-called gunwalking operation, including Eric Holder, who served as U.S. attorney general at the time. A GOP-controlled House of Representatives held him in contempt of Congress after determining that he improperly withheld documents from legislative investigators.