Here we go again with Darrell Issa out there pushing the right-wing conspiracy theory started by Mike Vanderboegh, that the Fast and Furious debacle is really just a secret ploy to try to get more gun control laws enacted: GOP Oversight Chair Doubles Down On Wild Conspiracy Theory: Obama DOJ May Have Started Fast & Furious To Limit Access To Guns:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) doubled down on a right wing conspiracy theory this morning, again suggesting that the failed “Fast and Furious” operation was a secret scheme by Democrats designed to promote stronger gun control regulation. But he also admitted that he had absolutely no evidence to back the theory and likely never would. [...]
Issa is more than happy to continue to promote the theory — started and peddled by Mike Vanderboegh, a man who once called for militias to break the windows of members of Congress because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act — even though even he concedes even he does not believe he will ever be able to produce any evidence of the allegations.
Transcript below the fold.
TAPPER: Last question for you, Congressman. You seem to suggest Fast and Furious may be part of a deliberate attempt by the administration to make the case for stronger gun laws. Here you are speaking in April at an NRA convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISSA: They've never answered the question, what were they thinking of? Could it be that what they really were thinking of was, in fact, to use this -- this walking of guns in order to promote an assault weapons ban? Many think so, and they haven't come up with an explanation that would cause any of us not to agree.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: You really think that there's a possibility that they were sending guns across the border not because they were trying to get people in the Mexican drug cartels, not because they were trying to figure out drug -- I mean, gun trafficking, but because they were trying to push gun control?
ISSA: Two things quickly. First of all, this was so flawed that you can't believe they expected to actually get criminal prosecutions as a result of it. So the level of flaw -- flaw -- flaw, if that's a word, here is huge.
But here's the real answer as to gun control. We have e-mails from people involved in this that are talking about using what they're finding here to support the -- basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting.
So chicken or egg? We don't know which came first; we probably never will. We do know that during this -- this Fast and Furious operation, there were e-mails in which they're saying we can use this as part of additional reporting or things like assault weapons ban. So the people involved saw the benefit of what -- what they were gathering. Whether or not that was their original purpose, we probably will never know.
And I -- and I take people at their word that this started off in some way as an idea where they could get good information, they could, in fact, roll up bad guys. But after it was out of control and people are saying, we're letting too many guns walk, those kinds of e-mails occurred, we -- we have people who also were being opportunists.
And, remember, Eric Holder issued a four-state (ph) reporting for long rifles and used what he had had here. Right in the middle of the scandal, he issues that for four states. They never needed this information. They never needed the reporting to get this information. These federally licensed gun dealers came to ATF and told them they had straw-buyers, told them they had suspicious buyers, and turned them on to the very people. And one of these people bought over 700 weapons, just one straw-buyer.
So it's very clear the system was working, where ATF was getting information voluntarily from licensed gun dealers. They don't need the additional reporting, but they got it anyway, and they used gun violence to the border and this operation as part of it. So I think when you look at the chicken or egg, there's proof that they certainly were opportunist.
TAPPER: All right, Congressman Issa, thank you so much for coming in today and sharing your views.
ISSA: Thank you, Jake.