On Sunday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) doubled down on a right wing conspiracy theory that the failed “Fast and Furious” operation was a secret scheme by Democrats designed to promote stronger gun control regulation — but also conceded he had absolutely no evidence to back the theory and likely never would.
Now, Issa has been called out for this allegation in an unlikely quarter: the conservative National Review. In an editorial Wednesday, the magazine’s deputy managing editor Robert VerBruggen took the California Republican to task:
Fast and Furious is a horrific scandal. The public deserves answers as to who devised the operation and what they hoped to accomplish. But the theory that Fast and Furious was devised to promote gun control goes far beyond the evidence, as Issa basically admitted to ABC this weekend, and it does not withstand scrutiny. The chairman should be ashamed to have dabbled in it, and should fully retract his initial comment, unless he has a considerable amount of evidence he has not shared with the public.
But Issa, as the editorial highlights, admitted that he has no such evidence. While he claimed to have emails hoping to use the failure as evidence of the need for greater supervision of guns, he outright said “So, chicken or egg? We don’t know which came first, we probably never will.”
VerBruggen concludes that “Unless far more evidence surfaces to support it, we should put this theory to rest.” And even Issa acknowledges that that isn’t likely to happen.