Congressional investigators tell CBS News there's evidence the U.S. Attorney's office in Arizona sought to cover up a link between their controversial gunwalking operation known as "Fast and Furious" and the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Terry was murdered in Arizona near the US border last December. Two assault rifles ATF had allegedly allowed onto the street without interdiction were found at the scene...
...the lead prosecutor on Fast and Furious, Assistant US Attorney Emory Hurley, learned almost immediately that guns allowed onto the street in his case, had been recovered at Terry's murder. "(I)n the hours after Agent Terry's death," says the letter from Grassley and Issa, Hurley apparently "contemplated the connection between the two cases and sought to prevent the connection from being disclosed." The Justice Department recently transferred Hurley out of the criminal division into the civil division...
...An internal ATF email dated the day after Terry's death reveals the quick decision to not disclose the source of the weapons found at the murder scene: "... this way we do not divulge our current case (Fast and Furious) or the Border Patrol shooting case."
Another ATF email indicates that the justification both offices used to not charge the suspect with crimes related to the murder scene "was to not 'complicate' the FBI's investigation."
ATF whistleblowers revealed the link between the two cases to Congressional investigators and CBS News, saying their supervisors were attempting to cover it up.
To their credit, Reps. Grassley and Issa have announced they are expanding the Gunrunner investigation. Particularly galling:
...a court filing by the Phoenix office seeking to deny Mr. Terry’s family rights under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, and expressed concerns about conflicts of interest in prosecuting the Terry case. “Since your office directed and approved the daily tactical decisions in Operation Fast and Furious, it is hard to avoid the perception that a conflict of interest exists,” the two wrote.
What did Eric Holder know -- and when did he know it?
And just how high does the coverup go?
08/28/11: Heard about the New Mexico city officials smuggling guns to drug cartels in U.S. police cars?
07/17/11: ATF facilitated sales of guns to cartel members, who were actually FBI informants using taxpayer money
07/12/11: More proof that Holder lied and people died