Fast and Furious: Justice Department finally admits Agent Terry was firing beanbags

Fox News reports:

The Justice Department on Monday unsealed an indictment charging five individuals allegedly involved in Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s death, and announced a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest of those suspects still at large. 

For the first time, federal officials also revealed that Terry and an elite squad of federal agents initially fired bean bags – not bullets – at a heavily armed drug cartel crew in the mountains south of Tucson in December 2011. During the exchange, Terry was shot and killed. 

(Emphasis mine.)  The bean bag aspect of Terry’s murder has long been suspected by Fast and Furious investigators, but this is the first official confirmation.

House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) applauded the release of these long-sealed indictments, but called the timing “very dubious.”  He told Megyn Kelly of Fox News, “It’s very clear that the timing has everything to do with the House of Representatives holding [Attorney General] Eric Holder in contempt for not turning over information.”  Issa thought the indictments should have been unsealed over a year ago, to help capture Agent Terry’s killers.

In other developments, bloggers Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea, who are long-standing authorities on the Fast and Furious scandal, have filed a complaint with the District of Columbia bar association asking for Attorney General Holder to be disbarred.

Also, at the urging of Rep. Issa and his Senate counterpart, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the Inspector General for the Department of Justice has begun investigating suspected retaliation against whistleblowers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Issa and Grassley were particularly concerned about statements allegedly made by ATF public affairs chief Scot Thomasson – who, according to eyewitnesses, professed a desire to “get whatever dirt we can” on whistle-blowing agents “and take them down.”  (He urged some other courses of action that cannot be reprinted verbatim in a family magazine.)