As the congressional investigation and lawsuit seeking release of Fast and Furious documents come full circle, there was one man that foreshadowed the gun running scandal.
Jesse C. Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney, has had his eye on Attorney General Eric Holder since the mid 1990’s and has several ongoing lawsuits against the federal government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Before Eric Holder was confirmed by the Senate as Attorney General in 2009, Trentadue sent a strongly worded letter with supporting documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter and supporting documents shed light on the questionable actions and decision making of Holder behind closed doors and cites his experience with Holder’s inappropriate behavior as a disqualifier. “No one could be less suitable to uphold the principles of justice in America than Eric Holder,” Trentadue wrote.
Mr. Trentadue previously won a lawsuit against the federal government for intentional infliction of emotional harm after then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder was placed in charge of DOJ’s internal investigation and public relations surrounding the death of Trentadue’s brother. This was about the same time Holder was on a crusade to “brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
Trentadue’s new discovery under FOIA is a heavily redacted FBI manual used for positioning confidential informants in places like the mainstream press, as well as in the offices of judges and congressional representatives. The document may be viewed here.
The document gains some relevancy to the Fast and Furious investigation in section 16 and 17. Below are some excerpts that may be the most relevant:
17.3 Otherwise Illegal Activity (OIA)
A) When a UCE provides goods and service (reasonably unavailable to the subject except as provided by the United States government) that facilitate a felony, or its equivalent under federal, state, or local law, it is a sensitive circumstance. In these sensitive circumstances additional authorization by an Assistant Director is required after review by the Criminal Undercover Operations Review Committee (CUORC)
B) (U/FOUO) Participation in otherwise illegal activity that involves a significant risk of violence or physical injury requires authorization by the Director, Deputy Director, or designated Executive Assistant Director after review by the CUORC.
(U/FOUO) OIA by an FBY employee in an undercover operation (UCO) relating to a threat to the national security or foreign intelligence collection must conform to the AGG-Dom and the FBI’s National Security Undercover Operations Policy Implementation Guide (NSUCOPG). The Department of Justice (DOJ) National Security Division (NSD) is the approving component for OIA that requires approval beyond that authorized for SAF approval described in DIOG subsection 17.5, below. However, as authorized by the Assistant Attorney General for NSD, officials in other DOJ components may approve OIA in such investigations.
17.5 An SAC may authorize the following OIA for an FBI employee when consistent with other requirements of this section, the AGG-Dom, the AGG-UCO, and other FBI policy unless otherwise indicated. Except for subsections A, B, and E below, the following OIA activities require CDC review prior to SAC approval, unless otherwise indicated:
C) (U/FOUO) The controlled purchase, receipt, delivery, or sale of drugs, stolen property, or other contraband;
Paragraph three: (U/FOUO) An SAC may not authorize a violation of export control laws or laws that concern the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction during an investigation relating to a threat to the national security of foreign intelligence collection.
The above information leads to some obvious questions that need to be answered:
Since the DOJ is recognized as the authorizing authority for all “otherwise illegal activity” (OIA) for the FBI, wouldn’t the ATF be mandated to seek the same approval as in 17.3 B?
And since the ATF usually handles the investigations into gun issues, wouldn’t the violation of “export control laws” in 17.5 be a serious OIA concern in relation to firearms?
The central issue in the Fast and Furious gun running scandal is the guiding principal of government accountability. A possible crime committed while in service of the government is a crime nonetheless, and should be treated as such. How far Fast and Furious will lead into the bowels of government wrongdoing largely depends on the ongoing lawsuit. Whistle-blowers from inside the ATF are calling for the truth to come out and the convenient timing of the now infamous gun running operation is now unquestionable.
Sharing at least a small part of the blame in this entire situation should be the US Senate, as 75 Senators threw caution to the wind and voted to confirm Eric Holder, the only Attorney General in US history to ever be held in contempt of Congress.