Congressman Joe Walsh (IL-8) released the following statement after the Inspector General's (IG) office testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The IG released its long-awaited report on Operation Fast & Furious yesterday. Walsh is a member of the committee.
"The IG report brings to light what committee members have always suspected," said Walsh. "The botched Operation Fast and Furious was a result of serious failures by leadership of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). There is no doubt in my mind that lives in both Mexico and the United States were lost because too many people with ATF failed to do their jobs properly."
Walsh continued: "What bothers me most is Attorney General Eric Holder's continued ability to deflect all responsibility. It should have been the Attorney General who sought justice for Brian Terry's murder, not the whistleblowers, and that is why I was one of the first Members to call for his resignation. Holder was entrusted to oversee all operations of his department, and therefore he should be held accountable for his staff's actions. Instead, the AG refused to provide subpoenaed documents to this committee, he and his department gave ambiguous and conflicting statements to Congressional inquiries, and he hid behind bogus Presidential decrees. This is one of the worst displays of leadership I've seen by a member of the Cabinet."
In November, Walsh led a letter with 39 of his colleagues calling for Attorney General Holder's immediate resignation. He voted in favor of holding Holder in contempt in June.
"If it weren't for Chairman Darrell Issa's relentless pursuit of the truth, I fear the Terry family may never have gotten any answers," Walsh concluded.