Devastating e-mail exchanges between a senior official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix, AZ and a cooperating gun shop operator have been revealed by Senator Charles Grassley in a letter sent late yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder.

“In light of this new evidence,” Grassley tells Holder, “the Justice Department’s claim that the ATF never knowingly sanctioned or allowed the sale of assault weapons to straw purchasers is simply not credible.”
The CBS “Gunrunner” story, which focused on the ATF’s Phoenix office’s alleged mishandling of an operation dubbed “Fast and Furious,” and news coverage of the Northwest arrests came just hours after Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley sent a 31-page letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Kenneth E. Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, telling them that “Congress needs to get to the bottom of this.”

Agent Dodson and other sources say the gun walking strategy was approved all the way up to the Justice Department. The idea was to see where the guns ended up, build a big case and take down a cartel. And it was all kept secret from Mexico.

Grassley: ‘Congress needs to get to the bottom of this’