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Issa subpoenas ‘storefront sting’ documents, questions Jones’ leadership of ATF

Once again Darrell Issa will attempt to walk through a stone wall erected by the administration.
Once again Darrell Issa will attempt to walk through a stone wall erected by the administration.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Calling attention to yet another example of government stonewalling, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrel Issa issued a subpoena Wednesday to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to produce long-requested documents related to ATF’s controversial and fiasco-plagued nationwide “storefront sting” operations.

“ATF carried out these storefront sting operations across the country, from Oregon to Florida, and utilized deplorable tactics including exploiting mentally disabled individuals to generate business and later arresting them, setting up storefronts near schools, and even losing high-powered firearms,” the Committee noted in a press release issued this morning.

“After more than a year of promised cooperation, multiple letters to you, and several unfulfilled document requests, I have no choice today but to issue the enclosed subpoena to compel the production of documents relevant to the Committee’s investigation,” Issa told ATF Director B. Todd Jones in his cover letter for the subpoena. “The time for hollow promises is over.”

Those documents include:

Communications relating to Operation Fearless Distributing and the Monitored Case Program at ATF; Operational plans and relevant Reports of Investigation for undercover storefront operations conducted around the country; Documents relating to authorization for ATF agents to sell weapons during these operations: ATF policies for conducting undercover storefront operations; Relevant Reports of Investigation, for undercover storefront operations conducted between January 1, 2010 and March 19, 2014, in any of the following cities:

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Atlanta, Georgia

"Nominated to lead ATF in the wake of the reckless Operation Fast and Furious, you were ultimately confirmed as Director with an expectation that you would clean up field operations and end the reckless behavior that has defined ATF in recent years,” Issa reminded Jones. “The Milwaukee storefront operation, in particular, is redoubling because it occurred entirely under your watch. Additionally, it was part of ATF’s ‘Monitored Case Program,’ which was created following Fast and Furious to provide enhanced oversight of ATF Field Operations.

“It is surprising that failures such as Operation Fearless in Milwaukee occurred despite this enhance oversight from ATF leadership, and these operations call into question your leadership at ATF,” Issa wrote.

Also see: Dave Workman’s take.

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