EXCLUSIVE: Issa demands "gunwalking" information from Secretary Clinton

Today, the head of the House Oversight Committee fired off a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her agency's refusal to turn over documents and information about the ATF "gunwalking" scandal exposed by CBS News.

"Given the gravity of this matter, this refusal is simply unacceptable," reads the letter from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

Read Issa's full letter to Clinton (PDF).

Issa is acting in concert with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). On March 4, Grassley requested information from the State Department involving then-U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual's meetings with Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Mr. Breuer's deputy, and other officials in Mexico City in the summer of 2010 regarding "on-going investigations" related to Project Gunrunner and its Fast and Furious component. However, the State Department has not provided any of the requested materials.

"This refusal is mystifying in its own right" and "stands in stark contradiction to the promise of transparency promoted by President Obama," reads the Issa letter. He is now asking for the information as well. "Additionally, please explain in detail the reasons behind your refusal to answer the Senator directly."

Gunrunning scandal uncovered at the ATF
ATF gunwalking: Who knew, and how high up?
AK47s vs. bean bags in border drug war
Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico

Issa's committee may subpoena documents if they are not provided. So far, the Justice Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and several other agencies have been non-responsive to Grassley requests in the gunwalking investigation.

The State Department had no comment other than to say if the letter has been received, then it is being reviewed.

  • Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

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

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download
The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App