Otis McDonald, one of several headliners scheduled to appear at this weekend’s 27th annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in Orlando, Fla., has suffered a serious head injury and is in intensive care at a Chicago-area hospital, Gun Rights Examiner has learned.
Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, notified members of the SAF Board of Directors during their meeting in Orlando today. McDonald was scheduled to speak during the Saturday awards luncheon, which also features U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and former Ambassador Donald A. Mahley.
McDonald apparently fell and suffered a serious head injury. He now has a cerebral blood clot. The report is also being carried on the popular website “No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money.”
The program will continue without Mr. McDonald’s appearance, Gottlieb confirmed. The big draw Saturday morning will be attorney Mark O’Mara, who is defending George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Trayvon Martin.
Indeed, O’Mara’s scheduled appearance was the lead front page story in Friday’s Orlando Sentinel, above the fold. It is the first time in GRPC history that it has been front page news in any host city, and media attention is expected to be heavy.
MEANWHILE, CBS News is reporting that Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley, the men who spearheaded Capitol Hill’s 21-month investigation of Operation Fast and Furious, are “threatening to subpoena” Kevin O’Reilly, the White House official who was quickly whisked out of the country after his name came up last year during the second congressional hearing on the gun walking scandal.
O’Reilly, now in Iraq, declined to speak to House investigators or the Inspector General about Fast and Furious.
O’Reilly, then serving on the White House National Security staff, had traded e-mails about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation with then-ATF Special Agent In Charge William Newell. Newell ran the Phoenix ATF office during the doomed operation. Newell is also the man who told a press conference early in 2011 “Hell, no!” when asked whether the ATF had allowed guns to walk as part of the Fast and Furious criminal investigation.
This new development keeps Fast and Furious very much on the political radar screen.
There is yet another development in the story, in the wake of the Inspector General’s report, discussed by this column. John Dodson, an ATF special agent who became a whistleblower in Fast and Furious, is demanding a retraction from Fortune Magazine about assertions contained in a June 27 article about the operation.
That story, by Katherine Eban, was considered a whitewash by many observers familiar with the gun walking scandal. The Inspector General’s report essentially refuted the story, which had portrayed Dodson as a disgruntled employee, CBS News reported.
Fast and Furious is on the GRPC Saturday afternoon agenda, following the annual awards luncheon.
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