Fast and Furious update: DOJ to shuffle ATF director Kenneth Melson
Both Fox News and the WSJ are out with breaking news about the corruptocracy’s latest dance of the lemons. In the wake of the ongoing Fast and Furious scandal, ATF acting head Kenneth Melson will be shuffled around until the heat dies down…
The acting director of the Justice Department division caught up in a firearms trafficking scandal is being removed from his post, sources told Fox News on Tuesday.
Kenneth Melson, who heads the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, will be reassigned elsewhere in the Justice Department. An announcement is expected late Tuesday morning.
The decision comes in the wake of the embarrassing scandal connected with Operation Fast and Furious. The program tracked illegal gun sales, but has come under federal and congressional investigation after weapons linked to Fast and Furious were found at the scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent’s murder last year.
Other supervisors connected with the program have been reassigned, though one senator complained earlier this month that the moves amounted to a promotion.
In another change, the assistant U.S. attorney responsible for the day-to-day operations of Fast and Furious — Emory Hurley — has been removed from his post and reassigned to the department’s Civil Division.
Looks like another case of screw up, move up. It’s the Eric Holder way.
In case you missed the recent Hannity special on Fast and Furious, here was the opening segment:
You know the DOJ’s favorite color: whitewash.
Statement from Darrell Issa just in…
“While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department. There are still many questions to be answered about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and who else bears responsibility, but these changes are warranted and offer an opportunity for the Justice Department to explain the role other officials and offices played in the infamous efforts to allow weapons to flow to Mexican drug cartels. I also remain very concerned by Acting Director Melson’s statement that the Department of Justice is managing its response in a manner intended to protect its political appointees. Senator Grassley and I will continue to press the Department of Justice for answers in order to ensure that a reckless effort like Fast and Furious does not take place again.”
More on the shuffling from Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News, who has been one of the few mainstream reporters on the story from day one:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Kenneth Melson is being moved out of the top job at the bureau, ATF special agents in charge announced during a conference call with reporters today. He will transfer to the Justice Department and assume the position of senior advisor on forensic science, Office of Legal Programs.
The DOJ announced Melson will be replaced by the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota, Todd Jones.
“As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, U.S. Attorney Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
Also, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke has submitted his resignation to President Obama, effective immediately. In an email sent to his staff Tuesday, Burke says his long tenure in public office has been intensely gratifying and intensely demanding.
Burke was interviewed by Congressional investigators behind closed doors on Aug. 18.
Sources tell CBS News that the Assistant U.S. Attorney in Phoenix, Emory Hurley, who worked under Burke and helped oversee the controversial case is also expected to be transferred out of the Criminal Division into the Civil Division. Justice Department officials provided no immediate comment or confirmation of that move.
The flurry of personnel shifts come as the Inspector General continues investigating the so-called gunwalker scandal at the Justice Department and the ATF.