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Fortune report complicates Fast and Furious story. Writer: 'There was no effort to get more guns to the straw purchasers'

Wednesday night on Politics Nation, Katherine Eban of Fortune magazine threw a major stumbling block into the GOP’s much-ballyhooed Fast and Furious investigation, in which Republicans are seeking to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. 

For her Fortune story, published Wednesday, Eban reviewed 2,000 pages of confidential documents and interviewed 39 people who could shed light on allegations that guns bought by ATF-surveilled "straw purchasers" wound up in the holsters of Mexican drug lords.

“There was no effort to get more guns to the straw purchasers,” Eban said in an interview with host Al Sharpton, summarizing her findings. “The ATF agents in question did everything that they could to seize guns, and basically prosecutors determined that they didn’t have grounds under the laws as written to seize most of the guns that wound up flowing ultimately to criminals; that is a far cry from guns being walked.”

Eban told Sharpton that the only ATF agent who deliberately conducted a gun-running operation was John Dodson, who acted as the prime whistle-blower and witness in Republican hearings on the program.

“The agents and the prosecutors say they were following the laws as written," Eban added. "It’s not a question of throwing the laws aside. That’s not what occurred. Nor was it the case that there was actually a tactical plan to let the guns walk.”