Issa to Question OIG Head As ATF Pores Over Report

Darrell Issa
Darrell Issa (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

USA –-( A Friday letter sent by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz warned against delaying the release of the long-awaited report on its Fast and Furious gunwalking investigation and summoned the IG to appear before the Committee on Sept. 11 for questioning. Additionally, the letter revealed that a copy of the report has been provided to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in addition to being sent to Justice.

The length of time the report has taken to prepare prompted Gun Rights Examiner to observe last December that it had already exceeded the time it took the Warren Commission to produce its report on the John F. Kennedy assassination. Cautions were also raised months back about the selection of Horowitz to replace then-acting IG Cynthia A. Schnedar, who had close ties to Attorney General Eric Holder, when this column pointed out his close ties to Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, identified early on as a person of interest in Fast and Furious by this column and citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars.

“We have been told through our sources for some time to be ready for a ‘September Surprise,’” Vanderboegh told his readers yesterday of this latest development. “The idea was to get the OIG report on the record and then, if it was a whitewash, to blow it out of the water with additional documents and witnesses already in the hands of the Issa committee.”

That makes Issa’s warning against delay all the more understandable, and further validates claims made over the weekend to this columnist by a past-proven source that there are “a lot of closed doors” at ATF Headquarters, as Acting Director B. Todd Jones, Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon, the Chief Counsel’s office and relevant staffers are “poring” over a report said to be over 400 pages long.

It also renews hope that Issa and the Committee will be taking heed of unsolicited public counsel from this correspondent and Vanderboegh to demand the evidentiary work papers used as the basis for report findings, characterized by an adviser in government practices as “hot stuff, that’s for sure.”

In related developments, a source tells Gun Rights Examiner OIG will also be investigating the “double-dipping” by retiring ATF official William McMahon, an apparent candidate for criminal prosecution for his role in Fast and Furious, who has taken outside employment with J.P. Morgan for an assignment in the Philippines, as well as a complaint from one of ATF’s Directors of Industry Operations, and concerns over arbitrary and punitive revocations of Federal Firearms Licenses such as this column reported earlier this month regarding security firm Brink’s taking legal action in response.

Another ATF manager, former Deputy Assistant Director Harry McCabe, mentioned in a July 2011, staff memo announcing the promotion/”reassignment” of McMahon, and one inextricably tied to such revocations, has retired (something WarOnGuns reported in advance) and taken employment with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, where he will ostensibly be helping retailers stay out of regulatory hot water. That sounds good in concept, but sources have told Gun Rights Examiner they welcomed his retirement and consider this new gig “a wildly head-scratching move,” particularly as this individual was reportedly responsible for establishing a policy of taking FFL matters to hearings as opposed to negotiating settlements, and the repercussions from that, such as the Brink’s suit, will continue to make themselves known, a prediction time is expected to tell.

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

David Codrea