He added that the sought-after White House interview and communications constituted “a lead we wanted to follow.”
At the hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on Thursday, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) asked Horowitz, “Do you think the White House’s refusal to share these documents limited the scope of your investigation? Would this committee be well served in pursuing an investigation into that avenue?”
Horowitz answered, “As we noted in the report, we did not get internal communications from the White House and Mr. O’Reilly’s unwillingness to speak to us made it impossible for us to pursue that aspect of the case. Certainly we sought to pursue every lead we could. From our standpoint, it was a lead we wanted to follow.”
The report, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, was released yesterday by the office of the inspector general.
Mr. O’Reilly is Kevin O’Reilly and when Fast and Furious was in operation he was a member of President Barack Obama’s National Security Staff.
The IG report states, “We also sought to interview Kevin O’Reilly, an official with the White House National Security Staff, about communications he had in 2010 with Special Agent in Charge William Newell that included information about Operation Fast and Furious. O’Reilly declined through his personal counsel our request for an interview.”
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