Fast and Furious memo remains secret despite leak
Everyone's writing about a document that they haven't seen.
Former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke admitted publicly late Tuesday that he had leaked a memo by ATF whistleblower John Dodson. Burke's admission was first reported here, and also covered here and here and, in my new story here.
This answered a question that was awkwardly discussed in a Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
But it didn't answer the question on the mind of many people covering or interested in Operation Fast and Furious. What's in the memo?
Burke's attorneys gave some clues as to the contents in their letter to the Acting Inspector General, Cynthia Schnedar (attached).
"We write to address questions relating to the disclosure of a memorandum written by ATF Special Agent John Dodson," the letter says.
"As Dennis told your office on August 16, 2011, he provided the memo to a reporter he had known for some time in response to the reporter's request. The reporter, who initiated the contact with Dennis, was working on several stories involving Operation Fast and Furious. It was clear to Dennis from their conversation that the reporter had either seen the memo or had it read to him."
"Dennis's intention was to give context to information that the reporter already had to explain that investigations similar to Operation Fast and Furious had been previously proposed by ATF. The investigation proposed by Afent Dodson was closed, and the memo did not contain and Grand Jury or otherwise classified information. Congress had already released to the public other reports from this investigation."
The letter goes on to mention that the memo "was never even used by the reporter."
Grassley said during the Tuesday hearing that the leak appeared to have violated the Privacy Act and amounted to whistleblower retaliation.
But until the memo and talking points become public, we're all talking about something we haven't seen. Some leak!