Sessions rejects request to testify before Oversight on Fast and Furious

Sessions rejects request to testify before Oversight on Fast and Furious
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThose predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold The metaverse is coming — society should be wary MORE has rejected a request from the House Oversight Committee to testify on a Justice Department operation from the Obama era, and will not answer any questions or send officials in his stead, the committee announced Wednesday.

The panel had asked Sessions to testify and answer questions related to President Obama's "Operation Fast and Furious," a botched law enforcement plan that resulted in untraceable guns being sent to criminal drug cartels. The failed operation was a chief source of Republican criticism for Sessions's predecessor, former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one The Memo: Democrats may rue pursuit of Bannon Ben Affleck, Tracee Ellis Ross join anti-gerrymandering fundraiser with Clinton, Holder MORE.

The Justice Department on Monday sent a letter to the House Oversight Committee, explaining that ongoing litigation by committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah) prevented the testimony, and saying that the department would not answer questions from other members while in “settlement discussions” with Chaffetz.

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“Under these circumstances, we are not in a position to provide additional information in response to your questions, nor to have a Department witness testify about them at a congressional hearing," the Justice Department wrote.

Investigations into Operation Fast and Furious ran through Holder's last months in office. In April, a man was arrested in Mexico for killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent with a government-issued gun during a firefight in 2010. 

In total, the Justice Department lost 1,400 of the 2,000 guns they sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Two more of those guns were found at the scene of the firefight in 2010, exposing the agency's program and sparking national outrage.