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House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is demanding that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives turn over all the information it has about an unauthorized confidential informant program over which the ATF has lost control.

In a letter to ATF, Chaffetz charged that the program was not authorized by the Justice Department, and allowed people who are supposed to serve as informants about illegal cigarette trafficking to pocket the money they earned along the way from selling illegal cigarettes.

Two informants each earned $1 million through the scheme, the New York Times revealed Wednesday, which prompted Chaffetz’s letter.

Four years ago the Justice Department’s inspector general recommended ways the ATF could strengthen oversight of the program to avoid abuse, but it is unclear “whether the ATF heeded” his advice, Chaffetz stated.

“According to the report, the two informants admitted in court documents to ‘receiving more than $1 million apiece,’ though it is unclear whether ‘that was profit or reimbursement for expenses paid on behalf of the government,'” Chaffetz’s letter said, quoting the New York Times article.

The Justice Department’s inspector general “made recommendations to strengthen oversight over income-generating operations” and the news article “raises questions whether the ATF heeded” the recommendations made four years ago, Chaffetz stated.

Chaffetz is seeking all documents related to the program and subsequent internal investigation of it by March 10.

This isn’t the first time the ATF has been in Chaffetz’s crosshairs. His panel is still probing the beleaguered agency’s “Operation Fast and Furious,” which turned into a scandal after lawmakers learned the ATF intentionally allowed gun traffickers to sell guns to Mexican cartels in hopes of bringing down the cartels. Instead, the ATF lost track of most of the guns it allowed to flow across the southern U.S. border.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., has gone so far as to introduce legislation to abolish the ATF.

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