Note: have not yet been able to contact Tobin or Smith for
confirmation. We have been hearing concerns about if state hearings
could affect possible future prosecutions. That will need some
serious consideration. Some of what seems to be driving this is lack
of confidence in the corrupt federal DOJ that it would prosecute
those involved in violations of state, federal and international
law. The possible violation of AZ laws, among them firearms and
organized crime laws. Also including the possible complicity in
deaths of two U.S law enforcement agents, and what seems to be too
often forgotten here, hundreds of Mexican citizens.
Ariz. House to probe gun trafficking investigation
Sat, 01/21/2012 - 09:01
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona legislators plan to review a controversial
federal law enforcement investigation into weapons trafficking in
State House Speaker Andy Tobin is creating a special House committee
to investigate the Fast and Furious operation.
Tobin's office says the study will examine the impact on the state
and its residents and whether Fast and Furious violated any state laws.
Fast and Furious was intended to identify and prosecute major weapons
traffickers but it resulted in federal agents losing track of weapons
that later ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States.
The committee is headed by Republican Rep. David Burnell Smith of
Carefree, and Tobin says the committee will have subpoena power and
is to submit a report by March 30.
Arizona strikes back: State investigates feds over gun-running
By Stephen Dinan
January 21, 2012, 10:01AM
Arizona's state legislature will open its own investigation into the
Obama administration's disgraced gun-running program, known as "Fast
and Furious," the speaker of the state House said Friday.
Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking
at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility
of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.
It's a turnaround from the rest of the immigration issue, where the
federal government has sued to block the state's own set of laws.
A law requiring businesses to check new workers' legal status was
upheld by the Supreme Court last year, and the court has agreed to
hear the case of Arizona's crackdown law that makes being an illegal
immigrant a state crime and gives state and local police the power to
enforce that law.
Fast and Furious was a straw-purchase program run by the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The goal was to try to
trace guns sold in Arizona shops and then trafficked across the
Mexican border, where they landed in the hands of drug cartels.
As part of the operation, however, agents let the guns "walk" —
meaning they lost track of them. At least two of the guns ended up at
the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a
shootout with Mexican bandits along a smuggling corridor in Arizona.
Mr. Tobin will announce the committee's jurisdiction at a press
conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with
looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on
Arizona and whether any of the state's laws were broken.
A report is due back by March 30.
Arizona's investigation into Fast and Furious comes on top of an
investigation by Republicans in Congress.
On Friday the chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's
Office in Arizona told a House committee he will decline to answer
their questions next week, citing his Fifth Amendment rights against
The official's lawyer, in a letter to the committee, said his client
is innocent but is "ensnared by the unfortunate circumstances in
which he now stands between two branches of government."