Skip to comments.Fast and Furious: House Oversight Wants Testimony From Another Arizona U.S. Attorney
Posted on 01/26/2012 2:27:48 PM PST by neverdem
Better get that Fifth Amendment warmed up!
Last week, the Criminal Division Chief of the U.S. Attorneys Office for Arizona, Patrick Cunningham, stunned the House Oversight committee by announcing he would take the Fifth and refuse to testify before them about Operation Fast and Furious.
Now House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has sent a letter(PDF) to Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding access to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Morrissey, another key player in the Fast and Furious scandal and cover-up, who reported to Cunningham.
Cunninghams assertion of Fifth Amendment privilege suggests that the Department has jeopardized public safety and the public trust by allowing individuals with potential criminal culpability to remain in positions of authority, Issa says in the letter.
It does seem a little odd that a division chief in the Arizona U.S. Attorneys office cant answer questions about his job without potentially implicating himself in criminal activity, doesnt it? Then again, this is Eric Holders Justice Department were talking about. Isnt the official Obama Administration line that Fast and Furious was a well-intentioned program that just got a little out of hand, after a few honest mistakes were made? Why would Fifth Amendment protection be needed for well-qualified high officials testifying about small errors in judgment?
Issa gave Holder until 5:00 PM Eastern time today to respond, or else the Committee will be forced to use compulsory process to ensure his presence. Once again, the irresistible force of the subpoena will meet the immovable object of the Fifth Amendment.
Issa also reminded Holder that he still hasnt produced documents subpoenaed in October, including, but not limited to, e-mails received by Messrs. Cunningham, Morrisey, and Hurley. That would be Emory Hurley, another Assistant U.S. Attorney who worked under Cunningham. Hes been accused by witnesses during the Fast and Furious hearings of thwarting ATF agents when they tried to arrest Fast and Furious gun runners. House Oversight should probably go ahead and print up his subpoena now, before they change the toner cartridge in their laser printer.
House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa told The Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder owes an apology to the Mexican government and to the families of Operation Fast and Furious victims south of the border. Justice has blood on their hands, Issa said Wednesday during an exclusive interview with The DC, referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.My browser can't open The Daily Caller. Could someone post it? The Daily Caller didn't require excerpting the last time that I posted one of their articles.
It’s free and opens it.
I think Issa is a little off-track here - although it does make one wonder why someone would plead the fifth, I think Issa is coming perilously close to making an assumption of guilt based on the pleading - which is directly contrary to why the right was created. Taking the fifth cannot be taken as an admission of guilt.
I WOULD raise the point that Mr. Cunningham's activities (I'll testify; No, I won't; Well, I'll testify but take the 5th) reinforce the impression that the Justice Dept. is being less than forthcoming and is trying to hide something, in direct opposition to the President's pledge of "transparency". (But, we did know that already, didn't we?)
The fact that the person refuses to testify strongly may not imply much about his own culpability, but the fact that he remains in authority implies a lot about the department.
Heard on Fox: Obama/Holder are ordering all DOJ people to take the 5th. Issa was on TV looking unhappy and noting that Obama may get away with Fast and Furious, with the Rancid Media running interference for them.
Holder and the DOJ have ignored some significant portions of congressional subpoenas served on them by Issas committee, and the congressman did not rule out Contempt of Congress proceedings against Holder if he continues to withhold documents, witnesses and information.
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