On last night's edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta van Susteren lauded the FBI credentials of Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), then allowed him to baselessly claim that the ATF's failed Operation Fast and Furious was approved "all the way at the top of the food chain," by Attorney General Eric Holder.
The Justice Department has consistently said that the operation, in which ATF agents allowed suspected traffickers to transmit guns to Mexico as part of an attempt to build a case against a drug cartel, was a local operation and that Holder and other senior Justice officials were unaware of the controversial tactics involved. But according to Grimm, for such an operation "you have to have approvals at the highest level of DOJ."
VAN SUSTEREN: And I suppose we should say and just sort of put in perspective, not only are you a member of Congress, you're a former FBI agent.
GRIMM: Yes. That's correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So -- and so the attorney general would be your boss, if you were still -- in theory.
GRIMM: Yes. Absolutely true.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You want him out. Why?
GRIMM: I don't think we have the confidence. I think the attorney general has been misleading not only the Congress but the American people. Listen, you don't let guns and drugs walk. That's the general rule of thumb. So if you're going to do something like that, which is very rare, you have to have approvals at the highest level of DOJ.
Now, why is this more complicated? Because you're not just letting them walk within an area here in the United States. You're talking about an international border. So you're having guns walk across into another country.
There's no question in my mind that you needed approval all the way to top of the food chain, which leads directly to the attorney general.
But Fox News viewers have previously received the opposite information from a source with far more experience in the area. In a September interview, Michael Sullivan, acting director of the ATF under President Bush, said the operation was "well within the rights of the director [of ATF] to approve or reject," and "didn't require authorities outside of ATF... for the purpose of initiating it."
Not surprisingly, van Susteren never mentioned Sullivan's expressly contradictory analysis, nor the DOJ's denials.