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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dennis Burke - A “Stand-Up Guy” - Admits Leaking Smear Memo

Dennis Burke - A “Stand-Up Guy” - Admits Leaking Smear Memo

Holder Refuses To Answer To Congress

By Dell Hill via The Daily Caller

“Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, who resigned in August, admitted late Tuesday that he leaked a document aimed at smearing Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent John Dodson, an Operation Fast and Furious whistle-blower.

Former Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke - Admitted Smear Merchant

“Dennis regrets his role in disclosing the memo but he’s a stand-up guy and is willing to take responsibility for what he did,” Chuck Rosenberg, Burke’s lawyer, said according to NPR. “It was absolutely not Dennis’s intent to retaliate against Special Agent Dodson or anyone else for the information they provided Congress.”

Rosenberg claims Burke is cooperating with congressional investigators.
The memo that leaked this summer ended up being an attempt by Justice Department officials to cast aspersions on Dodson — one of the leading ATF Fast and Furious whistle-blowers. Burke admitted he leaked the memo in a Tuesday afternoon letter to Justice Department Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar.

The memo was leaked to press and had the names of criminal suspects deleted — but kept Dodson’s name on it. Attorney General Eric Holder came under fire during Tuesday morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when he wouldn’t answer any questions from Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley about the leaked memo, who was held accountable for it and how they were held accountable.

It’s unclear if Burke was the only DOJ official who leaked documents to smear whistle-blowers, but Dodson thinks Burke “did not act alone.”

(RELATED: Holder says he knew about Fast and Furious longer than he first admitted)

“Special Agent Dodson demonstrated both tremendous courage and fidelity to the mission of ATF when he came forward to discuss the misguided ‘Fast and Furious’ investigation,” Dodson’s attorney Robert Driscoll said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that his superiors at ATF and DOJ did not listen to his attempts to address the matter internally, and instead chose to attack him once he, out of necessity, stepped forward. Today’s public acknowledgement by former US Attorney Burke that he participated in such misguided efforts to smear Agent Dodson is welcome, but unfortunately Burke did not act alone in attempting to ruin Special Agent Dodson’s career.”

Holder refused to answer Grassley’s questions about who smeared whistle-blowers via press leaks but politically jabbed at Grassley for asking about it.”

Holder’s attempt to turn Chuck Grassley’s questions into a political debate is just one more nail in the Culture of Corruption coffin that the Attorney General has been carrying on his back for some time.  At some point in time Holder will discover that Congress is entitled to the information he’s withholding and the reasons for doing so will be clear.  It’s the very same reason Holder gave Grassley in response to the Congressman’s questions - POLITICS.

NPR posted this follow-up to the day’s activities.

“Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, was one of the lawmakers asking questions of Attorney General Eric Holder when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. After news broke of the leaked documents, Grassley released this statement:

"Leaking sensitive documents to the press and retaliating against whistleblowers is not good faith cooperation with Congress. The Justice Department confirmed that the Inspector General continues to investigate the leak which means there are others who may be involved in drafting and distributing the talking points and document to the press.

"The Justice Department should not be allowed to continue scapegoating the one person who has resigned. We're in contact with Mr. Burke's attorneys and will continue to seek additional information about the document leak and retaliatory talking points."

UPDATE:  Guest blogger, Abraxas offered up her analysis from the left coast.

Despite the fact that Burke's attorney is gushing with praise for his client - "he’s a stand-up guy and is willing to take responsibility for what he did..." - the truth is in the timing.  The confession came after a very ugly thing happened that same day before a Senate investigating committee - U.S. Attorney Eric Holder threw Burke under the bus.  When pressed by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn as to who was responsible for Fast and Furious, Holder finally admitted that the scandal was the real reason behind Burke's resignation months earlier. 

And lo and behold, immediately afterwards Burke suddenly confesses that he was the one responsible for the smear job on Dodson earlier this year. "The memo was leaked to press and had the names of criminal suspects deleted — but kept Dodson’s name on it."  

This admission, however, has nothing to do with honesty and everything to do with self-preservation.  During that same Senate hearing that saw Holder accuse Burke, the AG himself was nailed like a cockroach to the wall when the committee exposed his contempt for the pain and suffering of slain Border Agent Bryan Terry's family (Holder not only hasn't apologized to the family, he hasn't even called them).  Such knowledge of the AG's malfeasance can only come if that committee has a mountain of evidence against those responsible for Fast and Furious.  Lying, therefore, is only going to make things worse.  Being the doofus he is, however, Holder tried anyway (testifying under oath that he 'first heard' of Fast and Furious only this year).  As a result, the AG is now facing charges of perjury, not to mention a possible prison sentence. 

None of this has escaped Burke's notice, which is why he's coming clean now.  As his defense attorney has surely informed him, confessing to his crimes before being accused of them is quite probably the only way Burke can escape criminal proceedings. 

So no cookie for the guy.  But if his confession works out, he just might get no orange jumpsuit either.  Now that's a reward worth singing like a canary over. 

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