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Issa Statement on Operation Fast and Furious Figure Gary Grindler's Departure from DOJ

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa issued the following statement on the departure of Gary Grindler from the Department of Justice. Grindler had served the Department of Justice as Interim Deputy Attorney General and later as Chief of Staff to Attorney General Eric Holder. Grindler's conduct was criticized by the Department of Justice Inspector General in its review of Operation Fast and Furious and the response to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, where Operation Fast and Furious weapons were found at the scene of the crime.

"Gary Grindler was appropriately faulted by his Department's own Inspector General for keeping information about a connection between the murder of a Border Patrol Agent and a mishandled department operation away from the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security. His departure from the Justice Department is warranted and long overdue," said Chairman Darrell Issa. "Other figures in Operation Fast and Furious are currently being evaluated for their conduct in the reckless effort that needlessly placed lives in danger. I expect more departures and discipline to come."

DOJ IG Faults Grindler in September 2012 report:

"We determined that Grindler learned on December 17, 2010, of the link between weapons found at the Terry murder scene and Operation Fast and Furious but did not inform the Attorney General about this information. We believe that he should have informed the Attorney General as well as made an appropriate inquiry of ATF or the U.S. Attorney's Office about the connection. Grindler told us that he was relying on the FBI to investigate the homicide and that would include investigation of the weapons in question. We found that Grindler's reliance on the FBI was misplaced given that it did not have the responsibility to determine whether errors in ATF's investigation led to the weapons ending up at the murder scene or why ATF failed to take law enforcement action against Avila for nearly one year and did so only after Agent Terry's murder. We also believe that Grindler should have ensured that the Department of Homeland Security was informed about the linkage." (p.454)

November 2012 Joint Report released by Chairman Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley:

"Given the circumstances surrounding Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's death, one would expect Justice Department officials to have some recollection of the event. Instead, Department officials seem to have experienced collective memory loss … Gary Grindler [indicated that he could "not recall' or did "not know'] 29 times during his interview with investigators." (p.103)

"Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler took a management approach of delegating tasks and responsibilities to his subordinates and then remaining uninvolved until problems were brought to his attention. This management style insulated him from problems occurring beneath him. Instead of accepting responsibility for his leadership shortcomings, Grindler instead passed the buck to his underlings." (p.73)


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