Republican says Fast and Furious was hatched to build support for gun control

The botched gun-tracking operation Fast and Furious was a plot hatched by the Obama administration to impose stricter gun laws, a House Republican said.

In an interview with the National Rife Association, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said the controversial Justice Department operation — which authorized the sale of guns to known and suspected straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels — was a plot from the administration to build support for gun control. 

“This was the most anti-gun administration in our country’s history and there are a number of us that believe the whole genesis of this Fast and Furious was to further their gun control aims right here in the United States,” Walsh told NRA reporter Ginny Simone.

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“When you look back at Holder’s testimony a few weeks ago — in his opening statement he basically fell back on that again and said — ‘You know what? You may have problems with Fast and Furious, but this just goes to show we need to keep a tighter lid on arms and guns in America that may be leaving the country,’” he continued.

“It was outlandish … and actually, I would say very stupid, that he actually said that, because he revealed their aims,” Walsh said.

Walsh has been vocal in calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over the scandal. He said a special prosecutor, who could hold witnesses in contempt of court, is needed to investigate the Department of Justice.

“There does appear to be a real stonewalling effort here that I believe will leave Congress with no alternative but to call for a special prosecutor,” he said. “They haven’t responded to subpoenas, clearly there have been conflicting reports and now evidence as to when he was first aware of Fast and Furious, and now this latest dump of material shows that there were real conflicts for a while as to who knew what about this program.” 

Holder has ordered an inspector general investigation on Fast and Furious and said the gun-walking that occurred under the program “should never have happened.” 

“This operation was flawed in concept, as well as in execution. And, unfortunately, we will feel its effects for years to come as guns that were lost during this operation continue to show up at crime scenes both here and in Mexico. This should never have happened. And it must never happen again,” Holder said last month.

The attorney general testified Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about Fast and Furious and faced a barrage of criticism from Republicans. 

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) suggested Congress might impeach Holder if it does not get satisfactory answers about inaccurate statements and information the Department of Justice provided about Fast and Furious.

— Jordy Yager contributed to this report.

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