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Grothman: Fast and Furious scandal should be one of greatest scandals in American history

Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) today criticized the Obama administration’s response to Operation Fast and Furious in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing focused on what is still not known about the scandal six years later.

Witnesses at the hearing included Josephine Terry and Robert Heyer, mother and cousin of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was killed as a result of the operation, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent John Dodson.

Excerpts of Grothman’s remarks

“We really haven’t gotten into how this happened in the first place, or what the motive would be for the U.S. government to try to get United States automatic weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

“It’s very horrible what happened to Bryan Terry. And I would suppose, given the zeal with which they were pursuing this, there were an unknown amount of Mexican individuals who wound up being killed as a result of the actions of the U.S. government. Do you think that’s accurate?

“Has the Obama administration, or anyone connected with that administration, apologized to the Mexican government for trying to get automatic weapons down to the Mexican drug cartels as far as you’re aware?

“Well, someone ought to apologize.

“What would be the motivation to try to get American automatic weapons in the hands of drug cartels? Why did some people in the American government think it was in our interest to make sure the Mexican drug cartels were armed to the teeth?

“Eric Holder was certainly not very helpful. We held him in contempt of Congress. Can you, in general, give us your opinion on the degree to which Eric Holder tried to help this investigation, and the degree to which he tried to stand in the way of finding out what’s really going on here?

“It appears he really didn’t want to get to the bottom of it. He was willing to cover it up.

“Did you see the Obama administration step up and do anything about this?

“It looks like after [Eric Holder] left public service, he was rewarded by working at Covington and Burling, a top-of-the-line, liberal-leaning law firm here in Washington. Does that bother you when you see people like Special Agent Dodson – his career kind of stalled because he cares about the people and cares about the future of this country? But somebody who gets in the way of this investigation is rewarded by the left-leaning establishment here in town by getting a job with a big law firm.

“I just hope this committee and whoever the new committee chairman is does what they can to make sure this is written in the history books. Sometimes, they say the winners write the history books, and sometimes horrific things happen and they just disappear and future generations will never know about it.

“To me, the Fast and Furious scandal should be one of the greatest scandals in American history, and I hope this committee does all they can so that people in the future always know the name of Eric Holder and know how little was done by this administration after they participated, for whatever motivation, in trying to get automatic weapons into the hands of the drug cartel.

“I want to thank you, Mrs. Terry, for showing up. I’d like to thank you Special Agent Dodson. I know you’re not as financially well-off as you would be if you had kept your head down, but I’m sure your reward is greater because you’re on the side of the angels.”

Click here to view Grothman’s full line of questioning.


Operation Fast and Furious was a plan implemented by the Obama administration in which guns were sold to Mexican cartels in hopes that the guns would later be tracked to high-ranking cartel members and assist in their captures.

Instead, many of the guns went missing, and several were found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexican-American border including at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The Oversight Committee originally held a hearing on Operation Fast and Furious in 2011, which forced out the ATF chain of command and caused the Justice Department to issue new policies prohibiting gun-walking.

The ATF and the Justice Department obstructed Congress throughout this investigation. Six years later, Congress is still seeking documents related to the Justice Department’s response to the Congressional investigation.


U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his second term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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