‘Unwilling’ Fast and Furious Witness Returns From Iraq To Work At State Dept

Kevin O’Reilly, a former White House staffer who was sought by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and referred to as “the link connecting the White House to the (Fast and Furious) scandal” has returned to the U.S. from Iraq and is currently working in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

O’Reilly was not allowed by the White House to testify either before the House Oversight Committee or to the Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The House Oversight Committee recently threatened to subpoena him.

The White House’s lack of forth coming and failing to allow the former director of North American Affairs for the White House National Security Staff (NSS) to testify led IG Michael Horowitz to conclude that it “made it impossible” to pursue leads in the fast and furious investigation.

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In fact, it was Committee Chairman Darrell Issa that informed Horowitz that O’Reilly was actually in Iraq and had been moved there “suddenly.

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The reason O’Reilly’s testimony is so important is it would clear up White House knowledge and involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.

Emails between ATF special agent William Newell and O’Reilly between July 2010 and February 2011 are crucial to discovering what actually was known by the White House and document that with testimony from O’Reilly.

The IG’s report said, “Newell told us that he had known O’Reilly during previous field office assignments and that the two shared information about firearms trafficking issues relevant to their geographic areas of responsibility. According to Newell, O’Reilly was also friends with ATF’s White House Liaison, and through that relationship O’Reilly would be included on some information-sharing between Newell and the ATF Liaison about ATF’s efforts on the Southwest Border, and that O’Reilly eventually communicated with Newell directly.”

CNS reports,

In some of those e-mails, O’Reilly said to Newell that he would inform two other White House National Security Staff officials: Dan Restrepo, the senior director for Western Hemisphere; and Greg Gatjanis, director for the Counterterrorism and Counternarcotics, about the Fast and Furious operation.

After receiving information from Newell, O’Reilly wrote on July 28, 2010: “This is great; very informative. OK to share with Sr. Director Dan Restrepo and CT/CN Director Greg Gatjanis? Would not leave the NSS, I assure you.”

Newell replied, “Sure, just don’t want ATF HQ to find out since this is what they should be doing (briefing you)!” On Sept. 3, 2010, Newell sent O’Reilly information that said, “You didn’t get this from me,” with information about potential indictments O’Reilly replied, “They’ll not go beyond Dan and me.”

Neither the State Department or the White House have said they will allow O’Reilly to testify before Congress. It looks like it will be up to Issa and company to issue a subpoena for his testimony.

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