I had hoped that the release of the report would bring this matter to some sort of conclusion. As of today, it is not clear if that will come to pass.
Based on the committee hearings and the inspector general’s report here is what we know:
1) Gunwalking began under the Bush Administration with Operation Wide Receiver. ATF agents began letting guns walk more than three years before Operation Fast and Furious was initiated.
2) The IG report found that gunwalking "was primarily the result of tactical and strategic decisions by the agents and prosecutors." The IG also found that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona "share[s] equal responsibility for the strategic and operational failures in Operations Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious."
3) The Attorney General and senior DOJ officials never authorized or approved gunwalking. The notion that there was a conspiracy by the administration to undermine the Second Amendment is without a shred of evidence and is the product of partisan assertions.
4) The administration did not assert executive privilege over any part of the inspector general's report, or over any of the documents relied on by the inspector general. The administration continues to provide hundreds of pages of additional documents to the committee.
5) There was no attempt by senior DOJ official to mislead the Congress. The inspector general found that "Department officials relied on information provided by senior component officials that was not accurate."
6) Several high-ranking officials have resigned or retired and several others are recommended for further investigation for possible disciplinary action.
Ranking Member Cummings has posed, in my judgment, the two critical questions now facing the Committee: what allowed this tactic to go on for so long unchecked and what should we do now to ensure that this never happens again?
It is my hope that the committee will turn its attention to these two questions in a manner consistent with the service and sacrifice of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who gave his life for his country and with the mandate of the committee.
Davis a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.