Another Document Revealed: DOJ Knowledge of Gunwalking
July 6, 2012 • 8:16AM

On July 3, Senator Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder reporting that he is in possession of a Fast and Furious memorandum written by Gary Styers, an Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) special agent in Lubbock, Texas on Feb. 3, 2011. In it, Styers described how two investigators for Grassley's Senate Judiciary Committee office had contacted him on Feb. 2, 2011.

After that conversation, Styers called his boss, Jim Luera, the resident agent in charge of the Lubbock ATF field office. Luera asked him to document what he told Grassley's lawyers, and he did. Special Agent Styers relayed that one of the operations was a suspected transaction that was to occur at a gas station and detailed agents were asked to cover the transaction, Styers wrote in the Feb. 3, 2011 memo, describing himself in the third person.

"While positioning to observe the suspects, Special Agent Styers and other detailed agents were told by Special Agent [Hope] McAllister that agents were too close and would burn the operation. Special Agent McAllister told all the agents to leave the immediate area. While the agents were repositioning, the transaction between the suspects took place and the vehicle that took possession of the firearms eventually left the area without agents following it."

The memorandum is entitled "Contact with Congressional Investigators." Grassley included a copy of the memo with his letter to Holder. Needless to say this memo was never turned over to the House Oversight Committee.

Grassley told Holder that according to ATF personnel, "the memorandum was discussed by high level ATF personnel and possibly forwarded to DOJ headquarters on February 3, 2011. The possibility that DOJ was aware of this memorandum on February 3, 2011, and still sent the erroneous letter to Congress on February 4, 2011, raises more questions about DOJ's claim that faulty information from department components inadvertently led to the false letter."

Grassley wrote that he wants Holder to disclose the names of DOJ personnel who knew about the memo before the Feb. 4 letter. He also said he wants to be sure the department has gathered and preserved all its records related to the memo, and he asked Holder if he would provide those records to Congress.

Grassley told Holder in the letter that he knows Styer's memo "traveled rapidly through ATF's chain of command. ATF personnel told Grassley that the memo was discussed by high level ATF personnel and possibly forwarded to DOJ headquarters on February 3, 2011. Specifically, it has been alleged that individuals within the Deputy Attorney General's (DAG's) office and the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) at the department were aware of or actually read the memorandum before the Department's February 4, 2011, letter was sent. Some individuals who spoke with my office claim they were 'alarmed by the substance of the memorandum and it caused such a stir that ATF planned to put a panel together to address the allegations but someone within DOJ suppressed the idea.'"

The Deputy Attorney General is James Cole and the Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, before his recent resignation, was Ron Weich, the individual who wrote the Feb. 4, 2011 letter.