Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Q&A on Operation Fast & Furious

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Operation Fast and Furious with Attorney General Eric Holder on Nov. 8, 2011

Transcript of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) Q&A: 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. IMAGE SOURCE: Judiciary.Senate.gov

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.):

“Mr. Chairman, if I may, I’d like to put in the record the official firearms trace data from the Department of Justice from 12/1/2006 to 9/30/2011. Thank you very much.

“Mr. Attorney General, welcome. You mentioned that you became aware of Fast and Furious in 2011. You spoke to us about the Grassley letters in the end of January and February. You asked the IG to investigate in April.”

 

Attorney General Eric Holder: 

“In February.”

 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.):

“Oh, February. Thank you. My understanding is that the practice of letting guns walk first occurred in 2006 as part of Operation Wide Receiver and again the next year as part of the Hernandez investigation. As you review the records of this, as I’m sure you would, did the Attorneys General at that time – I believe there were two of them – in 2007 know about this practice and what was done about it then?”

 

Attorney General Eric Holder: 

“I don’t know about the knowledge that the Attorneys General had at that point. I read reports that a memo was sent to Attorney General [Michael] Mukasey. I don’t know what action they took.

“But I do know that when I saw that indications that guns had walked, I was bothered by it, offended by it, concerned about it, and ordered the Inspector General to investigate it, and also issued a directive to the Phoenix office to make clear that gun walking is not appropriate – it was inconsistent with Justice Department policy and should not occur.”

 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.):

“Do your records indicate that this operation began in 2006 and continued virtually unabated since that time?”

 

Attorney General Eric Holder: 

“Operation Fast and Furious began in 2009, I believe, and Wide Receiver began in 2006, 2007 – I’m not sure. That matter was investigated and laid fallow for some time until the criminal division in the Obama Justice Department looked at it and decided to try to bring the cases that had been just lying there.”

 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.):

“Thank you very much.

“Since July of this year, the ATF has instituted a requirement that federal firearms licensees in the four states that border Mexico – California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – report whenever a single purchaser buys multiple – meaning two or more – assault rifles within a five-day period.

“I pulled the federal register and looked at that. It says that ‘federal firearm licensees must report multiple sales or other dispositions whenever the licensees sells or otherwise disposes of two or more rifles with the following characteristics: a) semi-automatic; b) a caliber greater than .22; c) the ability to accept a detachable magazine to the same person at one time or during any five consecutive business days. This requirement will apply only to federal firearm licensees who are dealers and/or pawn brokers in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas.’

“Can you tell us a little bit about how that section has functioned, whether it is being carried out, if there are lapses, or if you believe it can be strengthened in any way.”

 

Attorney General Eric Holder: 

“I think that that regulation requirement is an extremely reasonable one. It has all of the features that you have described. I think significantly it is totally consistent. It is exactly what we have been doing for years with regards to the sale of handguns. And the notion that somehow or other – we’re in litigation now, being sued in trying to do the very same thing that we have done with handguns for years with regard to weapons that are far more dangerous – is really beyond me. I don’t understand how that can be opposed given the fact that this would provide ATF and other federal agencies with useful information in trying to stop the problem that has been the subject of so much discussion. Those have been harshest critics of ATF have voted against this very, very sensible regulation. The House has tried – has voted to block it. I guess over 270 members of the House voted against what I think, as I said, is a very reasonable regulation and one that is totally consistent – exactly consistent – with what we’ve been doing with handguns for years, I think since the mid-1980s.”

 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.):

“Well, I feel, as you probably know, very strongly about this. And the tens of thousands – I guess at least 30,000 – people that have been killed by guns in Mexico, we know that these guns go into the hands of the drug cartels and we know how they’re used. So the question that I have is do you believe this is being carried out today in an acceptable manner? Let me change that – in an effective manner to stop the flow of guns to Mexico?”

 

Attorney General Eric Holder: 

“I think it is. We’re only at the beginning stages of it. It has not been in effect for an extremely long period of time. But I think it’s the tool that over time will prove to be extremely useful and help us in our efforts to stop the flow of weapons from the United States to Mexico.”

 

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.):

“Well, this senator is certainly going to watch it.”

###

 

Learn More:

10 Comments on “Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Q&A on Operation Fast & Furious

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley's Q&A on Operation Fast and Furious | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Elizabeth Emken to Senator Feinstein: Drop Fast & Furious “gun controll agenda.” | Elizabeth Emken US Senate CA 2012

  3. Pingback: Feinstein makes excuses for Holder during Fast and Furious investigation blaming lax gun control laws | Elizabeth Emken US Senate CA 2012

  4. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Chuck Grassley's opening statement on Operation Fast & Furious | What The Folly?!

  5. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Diane Feinstein's Q&A with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer on Operation Fast and Furious | What The Folly?!

  6. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's Q&A on Operation Fast & Furious | What The Folly?!

  7. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Richard Blumenthal's Q&A on Operation Fast & Furious | What The Folly?!

  8. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy's Q&A on Operation Fast & Furious | What The Folly?!

  9. Pingback: Transcript: Attorney General Eric Holder's testimony on Operation Fast & Furious | What The Folly?!

  10. Pingback: Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy's opening statement on Operation Fast & Furious | What The Folly?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.