Holder today once again tinkered with the timeline in his congressional testimony, stating that in March, after learning of the gun-walking operations, he sent out a letter to everyone who had reason to know that the methods used in Fast and Furious were verboten and should be ceased immediately. Back in May, he stated that he’d only learned of the program via news reports beginning a few weeks earlier, which would have been April. As AWR Hawkins notes at Big Government, in his long peroration he also took a shot at the Bush administration’s Operation Wide Receiver, although he was forced to admit, much to the consternation of defenders who were intimating that Fast and Furious was an extension of a Bush program, that it was an entirely different initiative undertaken during the present administration, with an entirely different method. During that peroration, he took the opportunity to elaborate at length on the various ways the DoJ has improved the lives of Americans by making them more secure.
James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Darrell Issa both expressed exasperation with what they termed ‘lying’ from the DoJ, including a letter from Assistant AG Ronald Wyche saying that no such operations existed, which was subsequently withdrawn. They were also stunned by the quantity of redactions to the documents they’ve received under subpoena. Confronted by Sensenbrenner regarding the Wyche letter, Holder stated that nobody in the Department of Justice had lied, because lying required intent, and nobody intended to mislead Issa’s investigation—despite his original testimony concerning how he’d come to know of Fast and Furious being irreconcilable with today’s testimony. All of this comes at a time when, as Bruce points out, some of the rationale for Fast and Furious is coming into focus as a means for justifying further restrictions on gun sales, in what might be termed a ‘smoking gun’ email.
Meanwhile, Jon Corzine did not plead the Fifth, as many expected him to do, stating (apparently) instead that he had no idea what happened to $1.2 billion dollars in accounts that have gone missing in the collapse of MF Global. Corzine states that since resigning, he has no access to the documents that might shed light on where that money went, and an expert witness testified that the records of those last days as the company collapsed are such a shambles that it would be hard to know even with access to them. Some people seem to have suspicions, though. And as a legalistic formulation, “I do not know where the money is” may not be the same thing as saying ‘I do not know where it went when it left MF Global.’
UPDATE: Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars, who helped break the Fast and Furious story, believes that Issa’s statement that he’s received more emails means someone’s flopped on Holder, and he’s on his way out.