Issa: E-Mails Suggest Operation Fast and Furious Would Be Used to Bolster Assault Weapons Ban, Greater Reporting

By Melanie Arter | June 25, 2012 | 4:15pm EDT

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., speaks at a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. (AP File Photo)

( – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chair of the House oversight committee, on Sunday told ABC News’ Jake Tapper on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that e-mails from people involved in Operation Fast and Furious demonstrate that the operation was more about pushing for gun control than actually getting criminal prosecutions.

Tapper played a video clip of Issa at a National Rifle Association convention in April. “We’ve never answered the question, ‘What were they thinking of?’ Could it be that what they really were thinking of was in fact to use this walking of guns in order to promote an assault weapons ban. Many think so, and they haven’t come up with an explanation that would cause any of us not to agree,” Issa said in the video.

Tapper said Issa seemed to “suggest Fast and Furious may be part of a deliberate attempt by the administration to make the case for stronger gun laws.”

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“Do you really think that it was a possibility that they were sending guns across the border – not because they were trying to get people in the Mexican drug cartels, not cause they were trying to figure out gun trafficking, but because they were trying to push gun control?” Tapper asked.

“Two things, quickly: First of all, this was so flawed that you can’t believe they expected to actually get criminal prosecutions as a result of it, so they level of flaw – if that’s a word – here is huge. But here’s the real answer as to gun control: We have emails from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support, basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting,” Issa said.

“So – chicken or egg – we don’t know which came first. We probably never will. We do know that during this Fast and Furious Operation there were e-mails in which they’re saying, ‘We can use this as part of additional reporting or things like assault weapons ban. So, the people involved saw the benefit of what they were gathering. Whether or not that was the original purpose, we probably will never know,” Issa added.

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