Issa Expects More Resignations after Release of IG Report on Fast and Furious

By Melanie Arter | September 20, 2012 | 11:35am EDT

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

( – House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said Thursday that he expects that the 14 DOJ and ATF officials found responsible for Operation Fast and Furious to resign like two other top officials did after the inspector general’s report was released on Wednesday.

“We expect that all 14 would find a way to find appropriate new occupations – ones in which their poor judgment or lack of dedication or unwillingness to actually read documents they were required to read would not be held accountable,” he said in his opening statement at the hearing on the IG’s report.

After the report was released, the Justice Department announced that former acting ATF chief Kenneth Melson is retiring and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein has resigned.

“The conclusions in any report by an IG are in fact respectful and less than conclusions as to what management must do, but already since yesterday, 2 top individuals whose time to resign had come – 14, 16, 18, 19 months ago – resigned,” Issa said.

“There is no place in our government for people who under statute are required to do something and then say, ‘I didn’t do it, but I didn’t need to do it, because somebody else did it below me,’” he said.

Attorney General Eric Holder was cleared of having any role or knowledge of the gunwalking operation, but Issa said, “Nothing in this report vindicates anyone.”

“If you touched, looked, could have touched, could have looked, could have asked for information that could have caused you to intervene, to complain, to worry, to talk to people, and you didn’t, and you are in our government or even aren’t in our government but were aware of it, you fell short of your responsibility,” Issa said.  

“We all have a responsibility to protect against firearms ending up in the hands of dangerous criminals,” he added.

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