Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler issued this statement about the Republican allegation that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about his knowledge of the controversial ATF program known as Fast and Furious:
The Attorney General’s testimony to both the House and the Senate was consistent and truthful. He said in both March and May of this year that he became aware of the questionable tactics employed in the Fast and Furious Operation in early 2011 when ATF agents first raised them publicly, and at the time, he asked the Inspector General’s office to investigate the matter.
“The weekly reports provided to the offices of the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General are compiled each week from entries submitted by 24 divisions and components with offices around the country. These routine reports provide general overviews and status updates on policy and legislative issues, public events, news clips, ongoing cases and investigations as well as key filings, hearings and expected rulings.
“As the documents provided to Congress show, not a single one of these reports referenced the controversial tactics that allowed guns to cross the border, and in fact, in one example provided to Congress consisted of a single sentence referencing a Phoenix-based operation. These reports are compiled to provide regular updates to Department leadership and can contain references to hundreds of cases, investigations, filings, court opinions and initiatives going on around the country at any given time. None of the handful of entries in 2010 regarding the Fast and Furious suggested there was anything amiss with that investigation requiring leadership to take corrective action or commit to memory this particular operation prior to the disturbing claims raised by ATF agents in the early part of 2011.