The two lawmakers leading the probe into the Obama administration scandal claim Justice Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar compromised their investigators' ability to get to the truth and potentially prosecute those responsible for selling thousands of weapons to the Mexican drug cartels.
Schnedar failed to even listen to the recordings before handing them over to the actual targets of the investigation, the letter alleges.
"Each of these disclosures undermines our ability to assess the candor of witnesses in our investigation and thus obstructs it," they wrote in a letter dated Tuesday. "Moreover, your decision to immediately disclose the recordings to those you are investigating creates at least the appearance, if not more, that your inquiry is not sufficiently objective and independent.
"It appears that you did not consider the significant harm that providing these recordings to the very individuals under investigation could cause to either our inquiry or your own. You did not consult with us about the recordings even though the congressional inquiry and reactions to it are discussed at length."
The OIG argues that under discovery rules it is required to turn the tapes over to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The tapes Issa and Grassley refer to were recorded by Andre Howard, owner of the Lone Wolf Trading Co., after he suspected the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was lying to him about the guns they recruited him to sell to buyers of the Sinaloa Cartel.
And in those tapes, at least one ATF agent suggested digging up dirt on Sen. Charles Grassley (CBS via Doug Ross and Gay Patriot).
The conversations were recorded by Andre Howard who ran the Lone Wolf Trading Company. Howard’s gun dealership had been cooperating with the ATF in “Fast and Furious.” At least two of his weapons were sold to a straw buyer before turning up later at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Hope MacAllister, the ATF agent heard in the conversations, was the lead case agent.
Dealer: …Holder has to respond to this tomorrow.
Agent: Yeah he’s gonna respond.
Dealer: I know he is. And I can assure you the media isn’t gonna like his response because basically it’s gonna mirror what he’s told Grassley.
Dealer: He can’t deviate.
Agent: Well if, I mean I’ve seen a rough copy at least of what our US Attorney here has sent up. Whether or not he has the b—s to actually use it or not, I doubt it. But I mean it’s pretty aggressive. Um. The way I see it our local US Attorney is extremely aggressive. When it gets to DC…
Dealer: What’s Holders’ office got to say about this?
Agent: Well like I said they’re supposed to come out with little more um b—-y statement than they have in the past, so…
Dealer: God they’re (intell)
Agent: I mean at some point they’re gonna say have to say Grassley you’re just gonna have to sit your a– down. I mean that or they’re gonna have to (unintell). I mean like I said my understanding is he can’t call a hearing. Somebody from the majority party has got to call a congressional hearing and as of right now…
Dealer: Patrick Leahy’s an a—-e, you know that. He gets ahold of something he’s like a dog with a bone.
Agent: As of right now we don’t have any info that’s occurred. So…
Agent: That’s kind of what my suggestion but nobody thought that was funny like if I were a P.I. I’d put him on Grassley, I’m sure there’s a lot would go away. Actually my one suggestion was just tell him in a registered Republican. I’m sure if he knew that everything would be fine, they didn’t like that either.
Issa is calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed. Look for Eric Holder to stall on that one, because he'll probably be the one undergoing a through body cavity search, figuratively speaking.