Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

PolitiFact Texas digs into Fast and Furious

Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 2, 2012, about the Fast and Furious operation. (Source: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)
Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Feb. 2, 2012, about the Fast and Furious operation. (Source: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a U.S. House committee Thursday about the botched federal gun trafficking investigation in Arizona known as Fast and Furious — an operation we looked into for a recent fact-check.

We dug into what’s known about Fast and Furious — in which federal agents lost track of hundreds of firearms they were supposed to be tracking as part of an effort to build cases against Mexican drug cartels — after an item was posted on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s campaign website saying that ballistic tests had "confirmed that the death of at least one U.S. Border Patrol agent was caused by" Fast and Furious weapons. Dewhurst is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Although plenty of evidence exists showing that two guns found at the scene of agent Brian Terry’s Dec. 14, 2010, slaying in Arizona were part of the operation, we found no federal ballistics information confirming that the bullet that killed Terry was fired from one of the guns. The only ballistics information we came upon — an FBI report posted online in July 2011 by the Los Angeles Times — was inconclusive. It said the bullet that killed Terry could have been fired from the kind of guns that were found at the scene but that "firearms examinations" could not determine if it came from either of the found weapons. We rated Dewhurst’s statement False.

Holder played prominently in another recent fact-check of ours. We tested a claim by the conservative poll watchers group True the Vote that the attorney general supports the NAACP’s plans to involve the United Nations in U.S. elections. That received a Pants on Fire rating from the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

We found that a pledge on an NAACP website calls for the "United Nations to investigate and condemn voter suppression tactics in the United States." But we found no evidence of Holder adopting or agreeing with the group’s position.