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Monday, July 18, 2011

ATF Director’s 'Eyes Nearly Popped Out of (His) Head' When he Learned ATF Might Have Been Selling Guns to FBI in 'Fast and Furious'

Interviewed by congressional investigators earlier this month, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Ken Melson agreed that the allegations that federal agencies weren’t sharing information regarding the Fast & Furious program were “eye-popping,” according to transcripts of the interview exclusively obtained by ABC News.
 In the controversial Fast & Furious program, the FBI trafficked assault weapons across the Mexican border in order to try to locate criminals. But many of the guns have since shown up at crime scenes in the US, and one theory investigators are exploring is that the ATF agents were unknowingly selling weapons to straw purchasers created by the FBI using informants and maybe even taxpayer money.
Melson was asked about this – politely called an “interagency communication issue” -- when he testified behind closed doors to congressional investigators over 4th of July weekend. In the below excerpt from that testimony, Melson describes a conversation with the deputy attorney general (DAG) Jim Cole on July 16, the day after the ATF hearing on the Hill. “IG” is a reference to the inspector general who is investigating the Fast & Furious case internally at the Justice Department.

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