In a series of hearings, Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley have been systematically dismantling the administration’s preposterous claim that no one in the Justice Department — which oversees the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — knew anything about the so-called gun-tracking operation.

On Tuesday, the ATF agent in charge of the Phoenix office, Bill Newell, told Issa’s House committee that he discussed the operation with the national-security director for North America, Kevin O’Reilly, an old friend, in the form of a “you didn’t get this from me” e-mail in September 2010. (TheWhite House insists the e-mail had nothing to do with Fast and Furious, but instead concerned the larger, legitimate Project Gunrunner gun-tracking program.)

It gets worse. Issa and Grassley also have identified a dozen Justice Department officials who they say knew about the program, including former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.

Continue reading →