BELLEVUE, WA â€“ Continued stalling by the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over Congressional inquiries about â€œProject Gunrunnerâ€ strongly suggest that the Obama administration is more deeply involved than the president has indicated, and now appears to be actively stonewalling the investigation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
â€œThe Justice Departmentâ€™s reaction to a threatened contempt proceeding by Congressman Darrell Issa is that his letter is â€˜being reviewedâ€™,â€ noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œPresident Obama promised to give Americans a transparent administration when he took office, but the only thing transparent about this scandal is the administrationâ€™s obvious effort to ignore the investigation until it goes away.â€
On Wednesday, Gottlieb called for the resignation or firing of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson because of his failure to respond to Gunrunner inquiries and a March 31 subpoena from Congressman Darrell Issa that sought Gunrunner documents. Instead, Issa and Senator Charles Grassley, who is conducting his own Gunrunner probe, have accused the ATF and Justice Department of stonewalling.
â€œIf the administration has nothing to hide,â€ Gottlieb said, â€œthe White House would immediately order the Justice Department and ATF to open their files to the Capitol Hill investigations. You can bet the White House press corps would be demanding that if there were a Bush, rather than an Obama, in the Oval Office.
â€œWeâ€™re waiting for the White House to tell us that â€˜this isnâ€™t Watergateâ€™,â€ he continued, â€œand they would be right. Nobody got killed because of Watergate. The geniuses who allowed Gunrunner to get out of control canâ€™t say that.
â€œBarack Obama told a Univision reporter that neither he, nor Attorney General Eric Holder approved Project Gunrunner,â€ Gottlieb noted, â€œbut that doesnâ€™t mean they didnâ€™t know about it. His statement amounts to plausible deniability and nothing more.
â€œThe president has a credibility problem,â€ Gottlieb said, â€œand itâ€™s not about his birth certificate. Itâ€™s about Project Gunrunner. He needs to tell the Justice Department to drop the stalling tactics and come clean.â€