Fast and Furious: Issa calls for second prosecutor to testify

posted at 3:05 pm on January 26, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Undaunted — and perhaps even spurred on — by recent charged developments, Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today demanded that the Department of Justice make a key federal prosecutor available to testify before his Committee as a part of its investigation into the lethal gun-running program Operation Fast and Furious.

Last week, the chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, J. Patrick Cunningham, pled his fifth amendment right to not testify against himself and refused to offer any information other than his name and title to Issa’s Committee. Cunningham’s decision to cast himself on the Constitution for help stunned congressional investigators and was itself an indictment on the integrity of the Department of Justice. As Ed wrote at the time, “One point is pretty clear, though.  Officials at the DoJ involved in this operation are fearing criminal prosecution, which means that this scandal just went prime time.”

Since then, we’ve learned that Cunningham will leave his post at the Department of Justice this Friday for a private-sector job. That’s as it should be. Cunningham’s decision — while perfectly “correct” in a constitutional sense — nevertheless limited Congress’ ability to arrive at answers to questions about Fast and Furious. Given Congress’ responsibility to oversee DOJ operations and the DOJ’s responsibility to cooperate with Congress, a DOJ official who cannot cooperate for fear of self-incrimination should no longer be a part of the DOJ.

Meantime, Issa and his investigators apparently think they can acquire at least some of the information Cunningham could have provided from one of the U.S. attorneys under his supervision. Assistant U.S. Attorney General Michael Morrissey played an “integral part” in Fast and Furious and has information not available from other sources, Issa says. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Chairman Issa demanded the DOJ release Morrissey to testify. The Washington Times reports:

“Since August, the department has identified Patrick Cunningham as the best person in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide information about Fast and Furious to the committee,” Mr. Issa wrote. “The departmenthas refused to make Michael Morrissey and Emory Hurley, both Assistant United States Attorneys supervised by Mr. Cunningham, available to speak with the committee, citing a policy of not making ‘line attorneys’ available for congressional scrutiny.

Mr. Morrissey, however, was Mr. Hurley’s direct supervisor, and an integral part of Fast and Furious,” Mr. Issa wrote. “Importantly, bothMorrissey and Hurley are unique in their possession of key factual knowledge about Fast and Furious not readily available from any other source.”

Mr. Hurley was the lead prosecutor in the Fast and Furious operation. In August, he was reassigned from the criminal division to a civil division post.

Whether Morrissey will, in fact, testify — and whether he can fill the gaps left by Cunningham’s decision to plead the Fifth — remains to be seen. Next Tuesday, though, Holder himself will again testify before the House Committee. He hasn’t taken responsibility for the scandal up to this point — and there’s no reason to think he’ll do so now, but the House Committee can at least again seek answers from the clearly either corrupt or incompetent head of the DOJ.


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Liberal Logic: Abu Ghraib went straight to the top. Impeach Bush. Fast and Furious was just a low level operation run by local ATF…

Which one had a body count again?

damnnodaks on January 26, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Issa just makes my heart pound. I just love a guy that refuses to take prisoners.

platypus on January 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM

“Not good enough!” “Damn RINO!” “The GOP will betray you every time!” “Stupid party!”

Close thread, I think I handled most of it. ( I kid, I kid! lol)

ThePrez on January 26, 2012 at 3:11 PM

So what happens to a guy that won’t testify and quits? He doesn’t just get to walk away.

DanMan on January 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM

this will never hit primetime as long as leftists control the story, brian williams, again, has not reported ONE story on this, not one!

tm11999 on January 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Last week, the chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, J. Patrick Cunningham, pled his fifth amendment right to not testify against himself and refused to offer any information other than his name and title to Issa’s Committee.

Department of Justice???

*snicker*

Nice job Holder you dic&head…..

BigWyo on January 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

But its spot on theprez
:)

cmsinaz on January 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Please Jesus, stop the torture. Can one, just one congressman ask Holder—”We are nearing one year since this story broke. This makes three times you have testified. Who the fk started this program?”

arnold ziffel on January 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM

tm11999 on January 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM

who’s counting? he’s at NBC and last week they showed in the news hour in 10th place behing I Love Lucy reruns didn’t they?

DanMan on January 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM

*chirping*

cmsinaz on January 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Clinton Redux. Impeach his azz!

abobo on January 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

CBS is reporting that the entire DOJ has resigned and taken jobs in the civilian sector.

Bishop on January 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

holder, like bho did today, will ignore a court order to appear for a hearing. The whole stinken crooked team think they are above the law and so for they seem to be?
L

letget on January 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM

seek answers from the clearly either corrupt or incompetent head of the DOJ

or? …. OR? …. clearly BOTH!

small_c_con on January 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Obama and Holder should be waterboarded. That’s the only way Issa will ever get the truth.

they lie on January 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Cunningham’s decision to cast himself on the Constitution for help stunned congressional investigators and was itself an indictment on the integrity of the Department of Justice.

Isn’t it amazing how all of a sudden the Constitution is relevant and they hang on it for dear life when it serves their purposes and protects their guilty a$$es?

stukinIL4now on January 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Remember what forced Richard Nixon to resign? It was child’s play compared to the lying criminals we have in office now.

And the MSM goes after Newt’s ex-wife while avoiding our modern day Benedict Arnolds. So pathetic.

fogw on January 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM

So, we’ve been at this a year. What is the end game? Who will be charged?

Fighton03 on January 26, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Since the ultimate goal of FuF was Gun registration and the Gun Confiscation:

Remember that behind every call for arms confiscation lies the deadly threat — “We will take your firearms if we have to get the government to kill you to do it.”
http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2012/01/remember-that-behind-every-call-for.html

All gun confiscation proposals come from the same motivation. Thus, if we say, “If you try to take our firearms we will kill you,” it is important to remember that this is a threat of defensive violence to counter their original threat of offensive violence.

Such people will be insulted if you call them National Socialists, but is there a functional difference in the exercise of their demands?

You could ask Franciszek Pokrywka, Iwan Zilnyk and Paweł Huzar — three human beings executed for the knowledge and possession of just one pistol — if they thought so. Oh, that’s right, they’re long dead, killed by the exercise of that “government monopoly of force” that the gun grabbers of CSGV are so proud to advocate.

Chip on January 26, 2012 at 3:23 PM

WILL SOMEONE FOCKING DO SOMETHING!
(I had a moment there…when I saw Morrissey in the story!)

KOOLAID2 on January 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Isn’t it amazing how all of a sudden the Constitution is relevant and they hang on it for dear life when it serves their purposes and protects their guilty a$$es?

stukinIL4now on January 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Yes, I noticed that, too. Keep it up Issa!

tinkerthinker on January 26, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Obama and Holder should be waterboarded. That’s the only way Issa will ever get the truth.

they lie on January 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I think skewers under the fingernails would be more fun. OK, maybe that’s too harsh. How about sodium pentothal?

arnold ziffel on January 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM

From my cold dead fingers. That’s the end of this. At least, that’s what the enemies of freedom intend.

platypus on January 26, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I think skewers under the fingernails would be more fun. OK, maybe that’s too harsh. How about sodium pentothal cyanide?

arnold ziffel on January 26, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Fixed it.

platypus on January 26, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Why not Issa as a candidate? I Like Issa. Sounds catchy.

anotherJoe on January 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

There was a day when testifying in front of a Congressional Investigation would strike fear into a witness’ heart… not in the last decade. Now a bunch of penguins show up and sit in the chair, unable to speak English and all with severe memory problems. Huge waste of taxpayer money. No wonder Nixon resorted to bugging.

HopeHeFails on January 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

In his hearing Holder took the Sixth Amendment. When queried by Congressman Issa, who said it was the Fifth Amendment, Holder was puzzled, saying in his constitution there was no second amendment making the sixth amendment actually the fifth.

Smedley on January 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Fixed it.

platypus on January 26, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I’m jiggy with that but first I’d like to know the whole sordid story.

arnold ziffel on January 26, 2012 at 3:38 PM

If Holder takes the 5th this time, Impeach him and his boss. This must not go unpunished.

nobar on January 26, 2012 at 3:38 PM

So what happens to a guy that won’t testify and quits? He doesn’t just get to walk away.

DanMan on January 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I pretty much gave up hope that anybody would late last summmer. I would love to be surprised though.

Roymunson on January 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You only get flak when you are over the target!

rjoco1 on January 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I believe Issa has this whole process mapped out and timed to his advantage. It may seem that the MSM will be able to go on ignoring it, but I think at some point (of Issa’s choosing) it will bust wide open and they’ll have to cover it, to some degree.

Norky on January 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Troll-Free Thread so far.

I have no idea, but I do know that you guys come up with really cool names for your fake scandals.

crr6 on July 10, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Smedley on January 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Shouldn’t he be pleading the 4th then? Either way…

hazchic on January 26, 2012 at 3:44 PM

a DOJ official who cannot cooperate for fear of self-incrimination should no longer be a part of the DOJ.

He shouldn’t be practicing law in the private sector either. If this guy is taking his private sector job in AZ, then the AZ bar should be investigating him.

AZCoyote on January 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Aaaah, well you’re all just a bunch of racists anyway. Issa, Grassley, and the lot of you.

Here’s proof.

\obvious snark

UltimateBob on January 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Wonder if Obama is already making a pardon list…

albill on January 26, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

They just don’t make them like that anymore.

de rigueur on January 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Interesting that he hasn’t called Dennis Burke, the former US Attorney (Phoenix) yet. Burke did submit to an interview, which he failed to finish due to suddenly being taken ill. He resigned as the US Attorney directly thereafter.

Would we could see the transcripts of that interview, as far as it went.

Issa has some experience, and I think he knows exactly what he is doing. He has Obama and Holder between a rock and a hard place. Holder’s absolute stonewalling is a risk of the highest order. taking such risk means they have traceable involvement, or they would have ended this with a sacrifice at some lower level by now. It is also apparent that they believe the truth revealed would be disastrous, leading to a certain loss in the coming election if not immediately career-ending.

Issa, meanwhile, is taking it one step at a time, slowly dialing up the pressure and making no mistakes. One overreach would be exploited by the Media desperate to spin a story they are having a hard time suppressing. Obama and Holder don’t know how much he knows, and he can continue to get them to make false statements and then expose them, as he has done several times. As it becomes increasingly apparent that the truth is going to come out and heads are going to roll, more pressure is on the smaller fish to flip. Obama and Holder, in their effort to stonewall, give Issa the ability to bring things to a head right before the election.

novaculus on January 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Corrupt for taking the action, incompetent for doing it so clumsily that members of their own department were murdered in an instant karma event. Abhorrent, ugh.

jake49 on January 26, 2012 at 4:01 PM

CBS is reporting that the entire DOJ has resigned and taken jobs in the civilian sector.

Bishop on January 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

That wouldn’t be wise. You can actually go to jail doing the things this Admin. gets away with in the private sector.

Yakko77 on January 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Zero has his and mooshells pockets full of pardons, all is needed is name and date!

angrymike on January 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM

The Morrissey thing made me reread to.
Lol

angrymike on January 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Look man … the GOP establishment is in charge of the House – and in charge of the opposition in the Senate.

Ain’t SHI* happenin’ with Fast and Furious.

Go watch a Gorilla self-abuse himself in a zoo somewhere – that’ll be a lot more exciting than watching this lame-assed establishment GOP cower to yet ANOTHER Constitutional Violation by Obama.

HondaV65 on January 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

To tell you all the truth, I was never as into politics until this hit. It infuriated me and made me wake up.
My cold dead fingers!

angrymike on January 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Na they can have mine………Lead first!

angrymike on January 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

So WHO were Ener 1′s financial supporters?

And WHERE do they figure in Barry’s campaign contributions?

GarandFan on January 26, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 3:42 PM

They just don’t make them like that anymore.

de rigueur on January 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Actually they do…scary, isn’t it?

Del Dolemonte on January 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Issa should offer Cunningham amnesty for his testimony. Cunningham can’t refuse without doing some serious jail time.

GarandFan on January 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Since then, we’ve learned that Cunningham will leave his post at the Department of Justice this Friday for a private-sector job. That’s as it should be. Cunningham’s decision — while perfectly “correct” in a constitutional sense — nevertheless limited Congress’ ability to arrive at answers to questions about Fast and Furious. Given Congress’ responsibility to oversee DOJ operations and the DOJ’s responsibility to cooperate with Congress, a DOJ official who cannot cooperate for fear of self-incrimination should no longer be a part of the DOJ.

Let me try to figure this out. He’s leaving for another non-government job “as it should be”… because he’s worried about self-incrimination.

Um. No.

He should be clean enough to answer any and all questions related to his job. Can you imagine if we decided not to answer questions at OUR jobs due to the possibility of self-incrimination???

Perhaps he should have enough integrity to NOT be involved in actions that would possibly self-incriminate himself if he answered questions, you think?

And if he has indeed done something that he can’t answer for, then shouldn’t he have to stay and deal with it instead of fleeing to the private sector.

Totally amazing.

How is this “as it should be”?

kim roy on January 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM

The shrinking out of touch right wing ideologues are the only ones who care about this story. How “fast and furious” pays the bills or prevents me from being laid off is beyond me.

Uppereastside on January 26, 2012 at 4:22 PM

GarandFan on January 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

If I was Holder, I’d be wetting myself now that Cunningham is leaving DoJ. No longer inside the tent, but outside with the ability to p!ss all over it. He no longer has his DoJ career to protect and with immunity will sing like a bird.

Trafalgar on January 26, 2012 at 4:22 PM

The shrinking out of touch right wing ideologues are the only ones who care about this story. How “fast and furious” pays the bills or prevents me from being laid off is beyond me.

Uppereastside on January 26, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Americans DIED!!!!

scgas on January 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM

I’m sick of the GOP playing around this! Why don’t they grow a pair! I’m sick of people involved playing around and continuing to Holder dictate the moves. Maybe if something other than continuing to sendoffical letters these people *eye-roll* might produce a little more results. It’s way pass time to down and dirty in this case and stop playing around with these people.

Zcat on January 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

novaculus on January 26, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Your points are well taken. For this reason, the GOP presidential contenders should not opine on this issue in the debates unless they are fully informed. Their remarks could undermine a carefully crafted investigation.

onlineanalyst on January 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

So what happens to a guy that won’t testify and quits? He doesn’t just get to walk away.

DanMan on January 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM

He could be offered immunity and then he would have to testify or the victim’s families could file a civil lawsuit against him.

Vince on January 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Ya gotta watch that Morrissey clan. Dem’s some bad boys.

hillbillyjim on January 26, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Bring every underling before the committee every week. Never stop. Bankrupt every one of them, their children, their grandchildren, parents, grandparents. Make them take three mortgages on their homes. Make them pawn their wives’ vibrators. Never stop.

Then, send them to prison.

crash72 on January 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I tend to remain skeptical that Issa will bring this thing home, for fear of being ultimately disappointed. But I’m starting to let my guard down, and starting to think that maybe, just maybe, this investigation is going to get where it obviously needs to go.

Charlie Brown. Lucy. Football. God, I hope not…

bofh on January 26, 2012 at 6:28 PM

When might we expect a perp walk?

Kissmygrits on January 26, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Uppereastside, typical selfish leftist ass.

I’m sure Brian Terry’s family is wondering how to pay their bills too.

You know, the US Border agent killed because of the incompetence of Holder and his boss.

91Veteran on January 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Call Patrick Cunningham up before the committee and give him immunity and if he doesn’t answer questions he will be in contempt of congress. It’s time these despicable people are put in jail or prison. They have thumbed their noses at us long enough. If the murder of over 300 people isn’t enough to get serious about what the heck is?

savage24 on January 27, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Issa should offer Cunningham amnesty for his testimony. Cunningham can’t refuse without doing some serious jail time.

GarandFan on January 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

This. I’m no attorney, but isn’t this (and other forms of intimidation) how the Dems get it done? Why can’t we? Use that power of Congress!

IrishEyes on January 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

This. I’m no attorney, but isn’t this (and other forms of intimidation) how the Dems get it done? Why can’t we? Use that power of Congress!

IrishEyes on January 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM

With all due respect, I would suggest that the Dems do it by having a media who will do literally anything – legal or illegal – to help them dig up (and fabricate when necessary) information that will reflect badly on their opponents. Divorce records, medical records (think about why Obama wanted the medical system under government control. Now guess how long it is till we start hearing carefully worded ‘rumors’ in the press about the next Republican candidate’s health?), military records, driving records, educational records, etc.

That being said, our side definitely needs to push a LOT harder on these scum. Throw Holder in jail for refusing to testify. Make him take a lie-detector test. Arrest a few of his subordinates and charge them with serious hard time then offer plea deals to have them incriminate their bosses. Force Holder, Napolitano and all the other high officials involved to testify again. There are options.

StoneHeads on January 27, 2012 at 6:14 PM