Published August 23, 2012
Republican lawmakers allege in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that a key figure in the failed Fast and Furious anti-gunrunning operation has been allowed to earn a second paycheck while still receiving his government salary.
The new allegations come as Holder reviews the long-awaited internal report detailing what happened in -- and who is to blame for -- Fast and Furious, in which the U.S. knowingly let some 2,500 weapons slip into the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, failing to track the guns as planned.
Sources tell Fox News the Office of Inspector General delivered the report to the Department of Justice on Tuesday. Under existing protocols, the department has a month to respond to the report's findings, after which, the inspector general typically releases the document to the public.
Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrel Issa, the two Republicans leading the charge against Holder on Capitol Hill, claimed in a letter Tuesday that ATF Assistant Deputy Director Bill McMahon has received a leave of absence allowing him to pull down two salaries. Taxpayers pay him six figures to do his ATF job while he's also reportedly pulling down in excess of $100,000 as the full-time director of global security and investigations for JP Morgan in the Philippines.
The arrangement allows McMahon to retire in December with a full government pension.
Records show McMahon approved Fast and Furious and supervised it as director of western operations. In July 2011, before a Congressional Committee, he apologized for his mistakes.
"As the ATF senior executive of the West Region, I share responsibility for mistakes that were made in the Fast & Furious investigation," McMahon said. "The advantage of hindsight, a thorough review of the case, clearly points me to things that I would have done differently."
Issa, Grassley and some agents inside the ATF are livid over the special treatment given McMahon. They say personnel codes prohibit ATF officials from taking outside employment. In fact, the agency is using the rule to sue whistleblower and ATF undercover agent Jay Dobyns $1.7 million for writing a book.
"Wait a minute. ATF and DOJ are suing me for alleged violations of my outside employment agreement while at the same time sanctioning McMahon to work full time outside of ATF?" Dobyns complained Wednesday to the ATF Office of Professional Responsibility. "Are you serious?"
"This is disgusting! And, while telling me their hands are tied on my matters while they take care of the very guy in the chain-of-command that allowed Fast and Furious to take place and then lied to Congress about it? Ain’t happening while I sit here and get my head beat in every day. No way, no how do I take this one."
Another agent was floored, wondering how the agency expected to get past Fast and Furious while continuing to approve controversial, in his words "indefensible" actions to protect one of their own in Washington D.C.
Issa and Grassley demanded to know who approved McMahon's leave, the grounds for any waiver, and his current employment status.
ATF spokesman Dave Campbell said his agency is reviewing the lawmaker's letter but can't comment since it involves a personnel matter.