Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas
A Republican congressman is calling for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security officials who he says lied about the case of two Border Patrol agents imprisoned for their actions in the shooting of a drug smuggler.
As WND reported, at a congressional hearing yesterday, Rep. John Culberson of Texas confronted DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner about his agency’s claim it had documentary proof of the guilt of former agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
“Richard Skinner admitted yesterday under oath that his top deputies gave members of Congress false information painting Border Patrol agents as rogue cops who were not in fear for their lives and who were ‘out to shoot Mexicans,'” Culberson said in a statement.
Culberson said he believes false information was given to congressmen to “throw us off the scent and cover up what appears to be an unjust criminal prosecution of two U.S. law enforcement officers whose job was protecting our country’s borders from criminals and terrorists.”
The admission came during Skinner’s testimony before the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Culberson was asking questions about a meeting DHS officials had Sept. 26 with him and three other Republican congressman from Texas, Reps. Ted Poe, Michael McCaul and Kenny Marchant.
WND previously reported that at that meeting Skinner’s office asserted it had documentary evidence Ramos and Compean:
- confessed to knowingly shooting at an unarmed suspect;
- stated during the interrogation they did not believe the suspect was a threat to them at the time of the shooting;
- stated that day they “wanted to shoot a Mexican”;
- were belligerent to investigators;
- destroyed evidence and lied to investigators.
Ramos and Compean began prison sentences last month of 11 and 12 years respectively.
Yesterday, under questioning by Culberson, Skinner admitted DHS did not in fact have investigative reports to back up its claims.
“The person who told you that misinformed you,” Skinner reportedly replied.
This prompted a startled and angry response from Culberson, who charged Skinner’s office with lying to the Texas congressmen and painting Ramos and Compean as dirty cops.
In his statement today, Culberson accused the DHS of leaving U.S. borders “largely undefended” and deploying National Guard troops “whose ‘standard operating procedure’ is ‘to retreat’ when confronted with armed criminals.”
The “unjust” prosecution of Ramos and Compean, he said, “weakens border security by discouraging all U.S. law enforcement officers from drawing their weapons in self-defense or in the defense of our nation.”
“Our highest priority in the war on terror is to secure our borders,” Culberson said. “These two agents need to be pardoned and we need to reassure our brave Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officers that we support them and want them to feel free to use their best judgment and whatever force they think is necessary to protect America.”