Obama Contributor, Who Helped Enact Assault-Weapons Ban, Ran ‘Fast and Furious’

“This new strategy directed federal law enforcement to shift its focus away from seizing firearms from criminals as soon as possible, and to focus instead on identifying members of trafficking networks…ATF agents abandoned surveillance on known straw purchasers after they illegally purchased weapons that ATF agents knew were destined for Mexican drug cartels.”

~Rep. Darrell Issa

Former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke. AP Photo.

Fred Lucas

Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and a contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and then a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on border-enforcement issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

When Obama nominated Burke to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times he believed he understood what the president and his attorney general wanted him to do.

“There’s clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing, and this is an office that is at the center of the issues of border enforcement,” said Burke.

Over the course of several days, CNSNews.com left multiple telephone messages with Burke for comment on this story. He did not respond…

…It was in July 2010, after his nomination as U.S. attorney, that Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times that he had  “been working on homeland security and border enforcement issues” during the transition, and that there had “clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing.”

“What I hope to do, if confirmed by the Senate,” Burke told the paper, “is to ensure that those plans and strategies are being implemented and we’re moving quickly on prosecutions.”…

…On ABC’s This Week, on June 24, reporter Jake Tapper asked House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Issa: “You really think that there’s a possibility that they were sending guns across the border not because they were trying to get people in the Mexican drug cartels, not because they were trying to figure out drug–I mean, gun trafficking–but because they were trying to push gun control?”

Rep. Issa said: “Two things quickly. First of all, this was so flawed that you can’t believe they expected to actually get criminal prosecutions as a result of it. So the level of flaw–flaw–flaw, if that’s a word, here is huge.”

“But here’s the real answer as to gun control,” said Issa. “We have e-mails from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the–basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting.”…

We urge you to read the entire article at CNSNews. It is the most comprehensive article on Operation Fast and Furious that we’ve read to date.

H/T Weasel Zippers

From the comments at WZ:

…now we are getting somewhere. This jerk also admitted to leaking classified records about the whistleblower Federal agent John Dodson to the newspapers.


“Former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke has admitted that he leaked sensitive documents about a government agent who had emerged as the leading whistle-blower against the government’s controversial gun-smuggling case known as Operation Fast and Furious.

A letter sent by Burke’s attorney Tuesday to the Justice Department’s acting inspector general acknowledges that Burke divulged secret records containing information about John Dodson, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”

From the CNS News article he was also eyeball deep in the 1994 assault weapons ban during the Clinton administration:

“Dennis K. Burke has had a long career working as an aide and political appointee to Democratic elected officials. From 1989 to 1994, he was a counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, working in that capacity for several years on an assault-weapons ban, which was finally enacted on Sept. 13, 1994 as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.”…

Related: Issa Sets Record Straight on Fast & Furious Facts .  On the House floor yesterday before Congress voted to hold Eric Holder in contempt, Darrell Issa said he “never thought it would come to this.”

Update ROLL CALL: Issa Puts Secret DOJ Wiretaps Into Congressional Record

Instapundit: Fast and Furious Noose Tightens Around Justice Department; Darrell Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Application in Congressional Report.

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