Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Subpoenaed US Attorney in Fast and Furious to Plead the Fifth

Yesterday, it was learned that Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa issued a subpoena for the testimony of Patrick Cunningham, the chief of the Criminal Division of Arizona's U.S. Attorney's Office. Today, we learn that Cunningham is pleading the Fifth.

Via Fox News:
The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico.

Patrick J. Cunningham informed the House Oversight Committee late Thursday through his attorney that he will use the Fifth Amendment protection.

Cunningham was ordered Wednesday to appear before Chairman Darrell Issa and the House Oversight Committee regarding his role in the operation that sent more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa Cartel. Guns from the failed operation were found at the murder scene of Border Agent Brian Terry.
Sipsey Street is reporting that this could - underscore could - actually be a bad sign and speculates that Issa's Committee may be backing down to the White House and Justice Department by focusing exclusively on Arizona and possibly acquiescing to the narrative that says Fast and Furious originated at the lower levels.
"I won't say that the fix is in, but the Committee seems to be buying into the 'Made-in-Phoenix' line pushed by the White House," said one source with inside knowledge of the investigator's work. This seems to be reflected in the subpoena letter from Issa to Cunningham. From (a) Politico story:

“Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the Committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress,” wrote Issa. “These officials told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used.”

The White House is happy for Issa to go after Cunningham for this is consistent with their denial that the White House had anything to do with gunwalking. Indeed, from the evidence above it would seem that the White House has determined Cunningham to be one of the designated sacrificial goats to that end.
Sipsey Street, which has developed a very credible reputation, then addresses what it views as the Oversight Committee's increased silence about the case:
This also comes at a time when journalists -- "mainstream" and despised bloggers alike -- have for weeks encountered a black hole when it comes to trying to find out what the Committee is working on and whether the story is progressing. "They've become the roach motel of press inquiries," said one. "Inquiries go in, but nothing comes out."
Another source, according to SS, is making the charge that Issa's Committee is fearful of both the FBI and the White House:
Another source familiar with the Issa investigation shared his fears about the direction and speed of the investigation. "They are afraid of the FBI" and are unwilling to really go after the Brian Terry murder cover-up and the use of FBI paid informants to buy weapons from the straw-buyers, he said. "They are afraid of the White House, too," indicating a reluctance to go after certain players in the early meetings such as that one held in March 2009 between ATF SAC Bill Newell and White House and DHS operatives, including, according to one report, Dennis Burke.
There is a chance that these claims are not accurate or that they are being driven by different motivations but if there is something to them, it wouldn't be good at all.

Read it for yourself HERE.

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