The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is facing a Congressional subpoena today over allegations that it allowed thousands of guns to be smuggled into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
Those allegations first received national attention in a series of exclusive investigative reports filed by CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson.
The subpoena comes from Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform. It also follows the ATF's failure to produce the requested records voluntarily to either Issa or Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, who has also requested them.
"The unwillingness of this Administration - most specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms - to answer questions about this deadly serious matter is deeply troubling," said Chairman Issa said in a statement. "Allegations surrounding this program are serious and the ability of the Justice Department to conduct an impartial investigation is in question. Congressional oversight is necessary to get the truth about what is really happening."Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico
The subpoena demands documents relating to Project Gunrunner, including records concerning the guns found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December. As CBS News has reported, the ATF was aware of the two guns being sold to "straw purchasers" nearly a year earlier but did stop them from being smuggled into Mexico."