Attorney General Eric Holder grilled by Congress on ATF "Gunwalker" controversy

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 3, 2011, before a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 3, 2011, before a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Appearing today before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder got grilled about the "gunwalker" controversyin which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is accused of allowing guns to get into the hands of criminals in Mexico. (Scroll down to watch video of Holder's testimony)

Gunrunner scandal at the ATF

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) used asked Holder when first knew about the controversial Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) operation known as "Fast and Furious." Though documents indicate Fast and Furious was started in 2009, Holder told Congress he only learned of it a "few weeks" ago.

That's after a CBS News investigation into allegations about Fast and Furious and other gun trafficking cases. Issa also asked who at the Department of Justice, if not Holder, approved Fast and Furious. Holder stated that he didn't know, but that investigations are underway to find that out.

Agent: I was ordered to let guns into Mexico

The Department of Justice and ATF are under investigation by Congress and the Inspector General after numerous insiders say ATF pursued a strategy that allowed thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to cross the border into Mexico, where it was allegedly known they were being put into the hands of drug cartels. Holder reiterated such a strategy would be against Department policy. Investigators are looking into possible ties between those weapons and the deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Customs Agent Jaime Zapata, and an unknown number of Mexicans.

  • Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.

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