Monday the Department of Justice Inspector General [IG] confirmed what Townhall and other media outlets have been reporting for more than a year now: DOJ officials smeared Fast and Furious whistleblower and ATF Agent John Dodson. As a reminder, Dodson was the first whistleblower to expose Operation Fast and Furious. He revealed the operation’s connection to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on to CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson on March 3, 2011.
The IG report confirms that former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who has a long personal and professional relationship with now Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in fact leaked information to smear Dodson after he went to Congress and CBS to reveal ATF, under direction of DOJ, had illegally trafficked thousands of AK-47 style rifles to Mexican cartels operating in Mexico. Two of those weapons were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on December 15, 2010 in the Arizona. Before resigning in August 2011, Burke admitted to leaking information.
From the report:
We also concluded that Burke’s disclosure of the Dodson memorandum to Levine was likely motivated by a desire to undermine Dodson’s public criticisms of Operation Fast and Furious. Although Burke denied to congressional investigators that he had any retaliatory motive for his actions, we found substantial evidence to the contrary.
In sum, we found that Burke violated Department policy when he provided the Dodson memorandum to Fox News reporter Levine without Department approval, and that his explanations for why he did not believe his actions were improper were not credible. We believe this misconduct to be particularly egregious because of Burke’s apparent effort to undermine the credibility of Dodson’s significant public disclosures about the failures in Operation Fast and Furious.
We found Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to be inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney. We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member.
In the report, Burke described Dodson’s decisions to speak with Congress and CBS about Fast and Furious, “Unbelievable.”
As a refresher, Burke served as Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff during her time as Arizona governor (for seven years), served as Napolitano’s Homeland Security advisor until September 2009 (when Fast and Furious started), was appointed by President Obama as U.S. Attorney in Arizona in September 2009 and served on Attorney General Eric Holder’s Attorney General’s Advisor Board until his resignation in August 2011.
Attorney General Eric Holder “relied heavily” on Burke for advice.
Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the appointment of nine new U.S. Attorneys to serve two-year terms on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC). The new appointees include: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara; U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke; U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Jenny Durkan; U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick J. Fitzgerald; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride; U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Peter F. Neronha; U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce White Vance; and Acting U.S. Attorney, ex officio, for the District of Columbia Channing D. Phillips. John S. Davis, Criminal Chief for the Eastern District of Virginia, was also appointed to the committee to represent the voice of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the field.
“This is a critical and exciting time for the Department of Justice and I will rely heavily on these U.S. Attorneys as we work to further the Department’s efforts to reduce violent crime and gang violence, promote civil rights, ensure fairness in the marketplace and above all, preserve our national security,” said Attorney General Holder.