In the Feb. 4, 2011, letter to Grassley — which has been much of the focus surrounding Republicans’ outrage about the failed "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation — Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “makes every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico.” 

The DOJ has since taken the rare step to rescind the letter, nine months after it was issued.

Weich, who was the chief legislative correspondent for the DOJ to Congress, is taking a job as the dean of the University of Baltimore School of Law.