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Documents Contradict Darrell Issa’s Fast And Furious Claims. Will Fox News Call Back Its Body Language Expert To Ask If He Deceived?

Reported by Ellen - October 14, 2011 -

Earlier in the week, Bill O’Reilly trotted out his resident “body language expert,” Tonya Reiman, to analyze Attorney General Eric Holder’s gestures when he testified to Congress to suggest he lied determine whether or not he lied about when he learned about the botched gunrunning sting operation called Fast and Furious run by the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) division. At the time, I suggested (albeit sarcastically) that given Issa’s record of hyper-partisanship, multiple arrests and even an accusation of arson by a former business colleague, his body language might have been worth analyzing, too. A new report by TPMMuckraker makes the case for doubting Issa even more compelling as it notes that despite his previous denials, documentation has come forward to show that he was briefed on the details of Fast and Furious and did not object. In other words, the same charges Issa is throwing at Holder might well stick to himself. Will “fair and balanced” Fox News investigate this with the same aggressiveness they’ve shown toward Holder? Don’t hold your breath.

In an interview on On The Record this week, Issa insisted the DOJ was wrong when it said he had been advised of the details of Fast and Furious in a briefing in a 2010 meeting. But TPMMuckraker has documents that directly contradict Issa’s claim.

(Issa’s claim) contradicts contemporaneous documents prepared for that meeting as well as the claims of officials familiar with the briefing, who say Fast and Furious was, in fact, discussed in detail. Still, Issa's office says staffers at the meeting don't recall Fast and Furious coming up and say they weren't given the briefing materials.

An official with knowledge of the meeting told TPM that Fast and Furious was one of "several cases that were briefed in great detail" at Issa's April 2010 briefing. The official specifically said that the names of the operations were mentioned in the briefing, which was run by former ATF Director Ken Melson.

Documents prepared by ATF officials for Issa's briefing back up that narrative, detailing specific developments in Operation Fast and Furious.

Issa’s office has responded with more patisanship:

An Issa spokeswoman said the claim was "recycled nonsense intended to draw attention away from what Justice officials knew about Operation Fast and Furious."

Memo to Fox News: If you really want to demonstrate your fairness and balance, a hard look at Issa instead of just Holder would be an excellent place to start.

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