The investigation recommends discipline for 14 officials, but found no evidence that top DOJ officials knew that illegally purchased weapons were smuggled into Mexico from Arizona as part of the investigation. The report does not call for any criminal charges.
The department's report comes weeks after House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa pursued and got a contempt-of-Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder. Issa sought documents that Holder and his department did not turn over.
According to the report, much of the blame lies with officials in Phoenix who planned the botched operation in which more than a thousand weapons were lost, likely to drug cartels. Two of the lost weapons were found at the scene of the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, sparking congressional scrutiny and increased media attention.
"Our review of Operation Fast and Furious and related matters revealed a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment, and management failures," the report reads.
The report's emphasis on the responsibility of Phoenix officials is largely consistent with the position the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has maintained throughout the investigation, though the report does place increased responsibility with officials from ATF headquarters in Washington.
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