Related: Obama Administration Illegally Fires ATF “Fast & Furious” Whistleblower – LINK
Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House National Security Staff who regularly communicated about Operation Fast and Furious with the Arizona-based ATF agent responsible for running the operation that allowed guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels, was suddenly transferred out of the White House and into Iraq in July 2011.
The transfer took place shortly after the ATF agent had testified in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the White House had provided the committee with a series of emails that O’Reilly and the agent had exchanged while Fast and Furious was underway.
Since then, the White House has declined to allow O’Reilly to be interviewed either by the committee or by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who conducted the administration’s internal investigation of Fast and Furious. The White House also refused to give the inspector general access to internal White House communications relating to Fast and Furious.
Under Fast and Furious, the ATF and the Justice Department deliberately allowed known straw purchasers for Mexican drug cartels to buy about 2,000 guns at U.S. gun stores. In December 2010, two of these guns were found at the scene of the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Many more of the guns were found at crime scenes in Mexico.
In Sept. 20 testimony before the Oversight Committee, Horowitz said that the White House’s refusal to let O’Reilly speak and to provide the IG’s office with access to relevant internal White House communications “made it impossible” to “pursue that aspect of the case.”
In a letter they sent to O’Reilly’s attorney last Thursday, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Issa would subpoena O’Reilly if he did not agree to testify.
“We have been trying to arrange to speak with your client, Kevin O’Reilly, for nearly a year now,” Issa and Grassley wrote. “Earlier this year, you agreed to make O’Reilly available for an interview if the White House authorized his participation. The White House, where O’Reilly worked during the pendency of Operation Fast and Furious, refused to make him available, citing ‘an insufficient basis to support the request.”
“If O’Reilly chooses to continue to make himself unavailable, Chairman Issa will have no further alternative but to use compulsory process to require his testimony before the committee,” they wrote.
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