More recently, in the Friday e-mail dump that preceded Attorney General Eric Holder's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, an email from Burke expressed his anger at Sen. Chuck Grassley and his staff over their investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. He called them "willing stooges for the Gun Lobby." His e-mail went on to say:
No commentary by Grassley on the lax laws, nor greedy gun shop owners, nor careless straw purchasers, and not boo about the evil gun traffickers for the Cartels. Nope. Just demonize ATF w/ a strategically-timed repulsive letter e-mailed to the entire press world before we ever saw it.Burke later issued a groveling apology over his comments.
It should be noted that Burke is not a newcomer to the business of gun control. In an article in the Arizona Republic about the political ramifications on Arizona politicians for supporting gun control, former Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), a supporter of the Clinton "Assault Weapons Ban", had this to say about Dennis Burke:
DeConcini credits Judiciary Committee staff aide Dennis Burke, now the U.S. attorney for Arizona, for much of the work in developing the ban, which became law during DeConcini's final year in the Senate but expired after 10 years.Burke also was Senior Policy Analyst for the White House's Domestic Policy Council from 1995 to 1997. This time overlaps with when Elena Kagan - now Justice Kagan - served as its Deputy Director. It was during this time that Executive Orders were used to further extend the ban on so-called assault weapons and to implement the Brady Act. Given his prior work on the Assault Weapons Ban in the Senate, it would not surprise me that Burke assisted in this effort.
Looking at Burke's background and his attitude towards gun rights and those who support them, I see this as even further confirmation that the intent of Operation Fast and Furious from the very beginning was to build support for another so-called assault weapons ban. I just don't think it was coincidental that Operation Fast and Furious was centered in Arizona as opposed to New Mexico or west Texas where the U.S. Attorneys have long careers as prosecutors.