This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 12, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A subpoena has just been served on the Justice Department in the "Fast and Furious" scandal. This subpoena goes straight to the top of the Justice Department. Chairman of the House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed documents from the office of the Attorney General Eric Holder. We spoke with Congressman Darrell Issa a short time ago.
VAN SUSTEREN: Chairman, nice to see you, sir.
REP. DARRELL ISSA, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Thanks for having me back on, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: You subpoenaed the attorney general. Why?
ISSA: No, no. We subpoenaed records from the attorney general. The attorney general has been invited by the Judiciary Committee and we hope he will come and explain the inconsistencies in his last testimony.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you invite him? Is he willing to come?
ISSA: We believe he will. Chairman Lamar Smith asked him to come before a joint session of our committee and his committee. He couldn't do the dates we asked but they are negotiating other dates right now.
VAN SUSTEREN: There is no resistance from the attorney general to come here to Capitol Hill and of it in front of your committee.
ISSA: I can't say there's no resistance but he will have to clear the air by answering fully and completely what he knew and when he knew it and why he didn't know it if that's the case, because obviously his key lieutenants did know a great deal about Fast and Furious.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ask him that before?
ISSA: I asked on May 3rd and he said I didn't know. I would like the opportunity to ask him more thoroughly.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you asked him on May 3rd did you and him why he didn't know.
ISSA: The amazing thing was he said he only knew two weeks before. We only had five minutes. Jason Chaffetz followed up a little bit. We were, quite frankly, sort of astonished he said he didn't know. We believed at that time that so many people knew that it was hard to believe he wouldn't be further briefed, particularly after Brian Terry was killed. One would think if a law enforcement officer was murdered by weapons that had been allowed to walk that the attorney general would be informed.
VAN SUSTEREN: When were you first briefed about what was going on in operation "Fast and Furious"?
VAN SUSTEREN: Never?
ISSA: Never. The fact is we had a briefing on drugs, we asked about guns, they gave us information on the number of guns and so on. They never mentioned Fast and Furious by name. Kenneth Melson was in that briefing.
More importantly, it's very clear that that's intended to be, if you will, a way to imply that I knew. Greta, if I knew, I would have stopped it. More importantly, it wasn't my obligation to know about "Fast and Furious." It was the attorney general's obligation to make sure it didn't happen.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have reason to be suspicious that the attorney general actually knew what was going on with Fast and Furious, not simply he flew there was an operation out there called "Fast and Furious"?
ISSA: We knew that Lanny Breuer was operationally involved. We knew the chief of staff was --
VAN SUSTEREN: What was does that mean, "operationally involved"? They knew what was going on?
ISSA: There are direct reports, doing wiretap approval. As you know, wiretap requests are incredible detail in order to get that through a judge. The detail of that we have on very good authority was, in fact, so detailed it would be hard not to know that guns were walk, that you knew who they were walking to and in fact you knew the names of the people who were in the conduit line.
We knew Lanny Breuer knew it or at least his key people knew it. And you have to say, OK, who was it that thought this was OK because we can't find competent, legal people who think this was OK to do. What we have is the Justice Department repeatedly denying that they ever let guns walked now we have proof they did let guns walk and they were concerned about it in their e-mails even after we were told they didn't let them walk.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you subpoenaed or asked Lanny Breuer to come here and of it.
ISSA: We have not subpoenaed Lanny Breuer.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why not?
ISSA: The documents we are looking for, as you know from discovery, there's a process. The process is you ask for the hard information.
VAN SUSTEREN: Or you could call Lanny Breuer up here and say you are the number two or three, I'm not exactly sure what his rank is at the justice department and say what did you know and when did you know it?
ISSA: In time asking each of these individuals may be appropriate, but we want to be respectful of the legitimate process of investigation. Asking for the documents is the appropriate way to inform our investigators before we start asking individuals. This was true when we went through the various gun sale shops and also true when we interviewed the various people local to phoenix.
VAN SUSTEREN: You subpoenaed, you say, documents. E-mails?
ISSA: Emails related to "Fast and Furious," obviously additional briefing materials, memos produced about this, if you will, "Fast and Furious," and, quite frankly, memos that may be about coverup.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know of any memos that lead to the White House at all or information of checks o'clock exchange with the White House? Do you have any reason to believe the White House may have known about the operation?
ISSA: Yes, we do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me.
ISSA: We know there was direct correspondence. We have been told the correspondence was between two friends who just happened to include this information. We've asked for --
VAN SUSTEREN: Friends in the White House?
ISSA: Friends in law enforcement to a friend in the White House who was on the national security team. Now, we're not overly concerned about that, but we have to -- we have to follow the facts where they lead so we've asked for what correspondence did occur with the White House.