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Congress Subpoenas Key DOJ Official on Fast & Furious

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee

Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has subpoenaed a key Justice Department official regarding the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

President Obama’s Justice Department and Attorney General Holder have continued to stonewall and hide the truth about this ill-conceived program that gave thousands guns to Mexican drug cartels and left one U.S. Border Patrol agent dead.

The Hill has the latest:

Issa … issued a subpoena for Patrick Cunningham, the chief of the Phoenix office’s criminal division within the U.S. Attorney’s office in Arizona.

In a letter to Cunningham sent on Wednesday, Issa said Justice Department (DOJ) officials have suggested that Cunningham is “the most appropriate person to interview from the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding Operation Fast and Furious.”

“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,” said Issa in the letter, which was made public on Thursday.

1.20.12 Update: Cunningham has informed Issa’s committee that he intends to plead the Fifth, further preventing the truth from coming to light about Operation Fast & Furious. According to Politico, Cunningham’s attorney wrote:

"As a professional courtesy and to avoid needless preparation by the committee and its staff for a deposition next week, I am writing to advise you that my client is going to assert his constitutional privilege not to be compelled to be a witness against himself . . . ."

1.23.12 Update: Chairman Issa responded to Cunningham’s letter informing the committee that he would plead the Fifth, stating:

The assertion of the Fifth Amendment by a senior Justice official is a significant indictment of the departments integrity in Operation Fast and Furious . . . . This is the first time anyone has asserted their Fifth Amendment right in this investigation and heightens concerns that the Justice Departments motivation for refusing to hand over subpoenaed materials is a desire to shield responsible officials from criminal charges and other embarrassment.

Issa’s committee still expects to receive testimony from Attorney General Holder on February 2, 2012. As Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel, has said, “What the American people are entitled to, quite frankly, is an Attorney General who tells the truth - the complete story about Operation Fast & Furious.”

You can join the ACLJ and over 52,000 Americans in calling on Obama’s Justice Department to tell the truth by signing our Petition for the Truth about Operation Fast & Furious today.

We will continue to keep you informed as developments unfold.

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