Published June 22, 2012
The parents of murdered border agent Brian Terry told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday that they think Attorney General Eric Holder and other Justice Department officials are "hiding something" in their response to the botched anti-gunrunning operation Fast and Furious.
The operation let illicit guns "walk" in the hope of tracking them to bigger traffickers, but many of the guns just disappeared into Mexico. Two of those guns were later found at the crime scene where Terry was killed in December 2010 just north of the border.
A House panel voted Wednesday along party lines to recommend holding Holder in contempt of Congress for not handing over a trove of documents related to Fast and Furious, and GOP leaders are considering a full House vote. President Obama has asserted executive privilege in keeping many of the documents out of public view.
Holder has not yet been formally held in contempt of Congress. The full House would still need to approve the resolution in order for that to happen --Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., suggested the vote can be avoided if the attorney general turns over more emails and memos about the Fast and Furious sting.
Holder has testified he only found out about Fast and Furious after Terry's death, and he condemned the tactics. But GOP lawmakers have suggested top officials at the Justice Department knew more about the operation than they have said.
Terry's parents, Kent and Josephine Terry, said they are upset that the Obama administration may be preventing them from getting the full story about how their son died.
"They're lying. ... They're passing the buck," Kent Terry told Hannity. "I just know that they're hiding something big. Something happened out there."
The interview comes a day after the Terry's released a statement expressing disappointment with the Obama's administration's latest actions.
"Attorney General Eric Holder's refusal to fully disclose the documents associated with Operation Fast and Furious and President Obama's assertion of executive privilege serves to compound this tragedy. It denies the Terry family and the American people the truth," they said.
President Obama's decision to assert executive privilege over Operation Fast and Furious documents not only failed to delay contempt proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder -- it raised a whole new line of constitutional questions and challenges about the power of the presidency.
The immediate question was whether the documents contained information so damaging that the president was willing to risk the bad PR by moving to lock them down. GOP lawmakers also questioned whether Obama's assertion was legitimate, later voting in committee that it was not appropriate in this case. And Republicans repeatedly suggested that the White House had tipped its hand, and acknowledged being involved in Fast and Furious discussions by asserting privilege over the documents in question.
The Department of Justice has adamantly defended its response. Holder said Issa, the committee chairman who has led the charge in the House for answers about Fast and Furious, rejected what he thought was "an extraordinary offer."
Wednesday's developments follow a flurry of activity Tuesday, as Holder tried to negotiate a way to avert the contempt proceedings. Issa had earlier indicated a willingness to postpone the vote after Holder indicated a willingness to make compromises and supply some documents in response to House Republicans' subpoena.
Issa had demanded to see a trove of documents on the controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation. He also wants to know who prepared a now-retracted letter from Feb. 4, 2011, in which the department claimed the U.S. did not knowingly help smuggle guns to Mexico, including those found where Terry was killed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.