USA –-(Ammoland.com)-“I was invited to speak with two investigators from the Office of Inspector General regarding the gunwalking scandal and general abuses of the ATF and DOJ,” Mike Detty, a central figure in Operation Wide Receiver due to his work as a confidential informant has told Gun Rights Examiner. “Eager to help I met with them and also provided all copies of recordings, journal entries, photos etc. I was determined to see justice done.”
“Imagine how surprised I was when one of the investigators informed me that my materials had all been turned over to Laura Gwinn at DOJ-one of the people that was complicit in the cover up of this scandal,” Detty continued. “I guess that I really shouldn’t be surprised, should I?
Detty provided Gun Rights Examiner with copies of relevant email correspondence, beginning with one sent to him a few weeks back by Julie K. McConnell, Investigative Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Oversight & Review Division, in which she informed him:
“You may remember that, when we met in November, we discussed the disclosure of the FFL recordings in Fast & Furious and the possibility that the materials you gave us in Wide Receiver also would have to be turned over to prosecutors. As you may recall, the government has the obligation to disclose information in its possession that may exculpate a defendant or impeach the credibility of a witness. Failure to do so may lead to charges of prosecutorial misconduct. We have since reviewed the materials on the CD you gave us and determined that we need to give the recordings and manuscripts to Laura – this does not mean that everything will be handed over to the defense, but simply that Laura will have to evaluate them to see what information, if any, has to be disclosed.
“I understand the sensitivity of this issue and that you are likely to have concerns.”
“Concerns” is putting it mildly. Per Detty, in his reply:
That is every unfortunate to hear. Can you tell me what files you are turning over to Gwinn and for what reason?
As I told you-I do not trust Gwinn. She has not been forthcoming with me regarding the investigation and prosecution. I do not trust her and fear that she will find something in those files and attempt to charge me with something.
I could not be more disappointed. The OIG investigation was something that I hoped would hold the DOJ accountable not aid in its defense and corruption.
McConnell replied they would be providing supplements to Detty’s journal (note Detty had previously provided Gwinn with a copy of his original journal, but this entailed an additional update and notes) as well as recordings of conversations he made with, among others, ATF Tucson Group Supervisor over Operation Wide Receiver Charles Higman and former Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Phoenix Field Office, and central “gunwalker” figure Bill Newell (click here for that conversation). Additionally:
As I explained in my previous email, we have to give these materials to the Organized Crime and Gang Section so that they can determine whether there is a constitutional obligation to disclose any of the information in pending prosecutions. We acknowledge your concerns about this and will ask that the office give the materials only to the people who are needed to make this determination. For some of the material, this determination might have to be made by the lead prosecutor, Laura Gwinn. I understand from our discussion last November and from your last e-mail that you have some reservations about Ms. Gwinn. We will make sure that the head of the Organized Crime and Gang Section knows this and will ask that to the extent possible the recordings of conversations between you and Ms. Gwinn be reviewed by someone else.
The “rationale” used here, that OIG is required to make disclosures, is one we’ve seen in the unfolding Fast and Furious story, along with DOJ misusing the disclosed information, so this is neither a new, nor an unfounded concern. From the Dec. 27 Gun Rights Examiner column:
Then there is this disturbing revelation that Schnedar’s OIG gave secretly recorded tapes of conversations between ATF Agent Hope McAllister and the gun store owner who sold the weapons found at the Brian Terry murder scene to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, itself a subject of the investigation.
In fact, resigned Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke has admitted “that he leaked a document aimed at smearing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson, an Operation Fast and Furious whistle-blower.” And damningly:
“Burke admitted he leaked the memo in a Tuesday afternoon letter to Justice Department Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar.”
As with the whistleblowers, Mr. Detty needs to ensure he is protected against retaliation, and that the information he has provided will be properly handled by federal authorities to pursue justice. In light of a problematic history in that regard by OIG and DOJ, including a conflict of interests and influences that precludes true independence, and in the absence of an aggressive watchdog media guarding the guards, this column will provide a public record on his behalf.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at www.DavidCodrea.com.