“It was very frustrating to all of us, and it appears thoroughly to us that the Department is really trying to figure out a way to push the information away from their political appointees at the Department,” ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson said of his frustration with the Justice Department’s response to the investigation in a transcribed interview.
“The Department should not be withholding what Mr. Melson described as the ‘smoking gun’ report of investigation or Mr. Melson’s emails regarding the wiretap applications,” wrote Issa and Grassley. “Mr. Melson said he reviewed the affidavits in support of the wiretap applications for the first time after the controversy became public and immediately contacted the Deputy Attorney General’s office to raise concerns about information in them that was inconsistent with the Department’s public denials. The Department should also address the serious questions raised by Mr. Melson’s testimony regarding potential informants for other agencies.”
Issa and Grassley have sent a letter to Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart requesting information about DEA's involvement with Operation Fast and Furious. A similar request for information was made on March 15, 2011 but was ignored. Grassley and Issa have also requested memos, emails, briefing papers and handwritten notes from the FBI to be provided to the Oversight Committee after reports showed bureau officials may have paid informants to help the FBI, DEA, ATF and DOJ with the operation.