Where Is Kevin O’Reilly And What Can He Tell Us About The WH’s Ties To ‘Fast and Furious’?

By Craig Bannister | October 3, 2012 | 7:39am EDT

A White House aide Republicans call “the link connecting the White House” to the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal was transferred to Iraq after congressmen and a DOJ inspector general took an interest in talking to him. Now, the administration won’t say where he is.

Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House National Security Staff, regularly communicated about Operation Fast and Furious with William Newell, the Arizona-based ATF agent responsible for running the operation. But, once these communications became public – drawing the attention of Justice Department Inspector Gen. Michael Horowitz – O’Reilly was suddenly transferred to Iraq - replacing a person who had already won the job through a competitive selection process and whose spouse was already in Iraq waiting for him.

The White House had been denying Republicans and the Inspector General permission to question O’Reilly in Iraq by phone. But, now the State Dept. tells that O’Reilly has left Iraq and it will not reveal his whereabouts:

“I can confirm that he [Kevin O’Reilly] is no longer in Iraq but he has not yet started in his next position.” “So, I can’t confirm what that position is. I just don’t have any information on that right now, what his next position will be or when he will be starting.”

For the record, repeatedly asked the State Dept. WHERE O'Reilly was, not WHAT his new job was. (Presumably, he didn't just vanish from the face of the earth, so you'd think they'd know their employee's whereabouts).

The State Department official said there is no official biography for O’Reilly because he is not in a senior level post.

So, just who (and where) is this guy? And, what exactly can he tell us about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal?

And, if you’re the White House, what’s the harm in letting him have a telephone conversation with people seeking to get to the bottom of the botched gunrunning operation?

In a letter to O’Reilly’s attorney last Thursday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), warned that Issa would subpoena O’Reilly if he did not agree to testify “given that O’Reilly was the link connecting the White House to the scandal.”

But, how much of a threat is that, really?

Eric Holder was able to ignore a subpoena - and actually be held in contempt of Congress for doing it – without even losing his job.

See more "Right Views, Right Now" opinion and analysis blogs.

MRC Store