February 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 2011 - Important Dates in the Fast & Furious Scandal
As reported by the Washington Times and Breitbart.com, on February 2nd, 2011 -- a month and a half after Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed -- a staff member of Sen. Charles Grassley's office contacted Gary Styers, an ATF agent who worked in the Phoenix field division, to discuss the Fast & Furious operation.
On February 3rd, Styers sent a memo that was eventually forwarded to high-level ATF officials in Washington, and was possibly forwarded to officials at the Department of Justice. The memo outlined questionable tactics in the Fast & Furious operation. Grassley said his office was told that Styers' memo "caused such a stir that ATF planned to put together a panel to address the allegations, but someone within DOJ suppressed the idea."
On February 4th, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch wrote a letter to Grassley, claiming that allegations of gunwalking were "false." Several months later, however, the Department of Justice retracted the letter, admitting that gunwalking did occur in the Fast & Furious operation.
Grassley has recently written a letter to Eric Holder, asking which DOJ officials were aware of the Styers memo on the day that Welch sent his February 4 letter. Grassley writes that "it has been alleged that individuals with the Deputy Attorney General's office and the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department were aware of or actually read the memorandum before the Department's February 4, 2011, letter was sent." Grassley further claims that the Justice Department "may have withheld relevant documents from what it said were the deliberative materials" used to draft Welch's letter.
In his letter, Grassley asks Holder to respond by July 17.
A senior Justice Department official told reporters that the department will respond "appropriately" to Grassley's letter.