Eric Holder cleared in 'Fast and Furious' gun-trafficking operation


Attorney General Eric Holder (C) talks to reporters with Deputy Attorney General James Cole (L) after meeting with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa in the U.S. Capitol June 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Obama administration invoked executive privilege on June 20, 2012, to withhold the release of documents related to the Fast and Furious program, while the committee planned to vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress.


Chip Somodevilla

United States Attorney General Eric Holder has been cleared in connection with the "Fast and Furious" gun-trafficking operation that "allowed thousands of weapons to cross into Mexico," according to CBS News.

NBC News said a report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General determined there was "no evidence" Holder had been told about the operation or knew about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives tactic of "gun-walking" before Congress requested information about the sting in early 2011.

However, 14 federal officials were found by the investigation to have created a "significant danger to public safety" and may face professional discipline, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Fast and Furious" was a federal operation that traced guns from the US into Mexico, NBC explained. In a controversial move, ATF agents allowed guns to travel into Mexico to drug cartels in an attempt to trace the weapons' path to the top.

However, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the plan backfired, and 2,000 guns were lost. The report blamed the botched operation on Arizona investigators, including senior official Jason Weinstein.

CBS News reported Weinstein resigned Tuesday night. The LA Times reported his resignation to have been announced Wednesday "less than an hour after" the findings of the investigation were released. Kenneth Melson, the former head of the ATF, also resigned Wednesday, according to the LA Times.

More from GlobalPost: House holds Holder in contempt

The House of Representatives held Holder in contempt of Congress in June in a vote of 255-67 for withholding documents related to the gun operation.