USA –-(Ammoland.com)- “Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa demanded in [a] letter to Attorney General Holder that the Justice Department make Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office Assistant United States Attorney Michael Morrissey available to speak with Committee investigators about his role in and knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious,” a release issued moments ago by the committee reveals:
“His supervisor, Patrick Cunningham, has stated he will exercise his Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any questions pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious – such an assertion is extremely rare and suggests possible criminal culpability on the part of a high ranking Justice Department official. Morrissey, who reported directly to Cunningham’s and was intimately involved with Operation Fast and Furious.
“’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,’ Issa said in his letter to Holder. ‘The Department has 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. Importantly, both Morrissey and Hurley are unique in their possession of key factual knowledge about Fast and Furious not readily available from any other source.”
“The Chairman also reiterated that the Justice Department still has not complied with the subpoenas issued to date, including subpoenaed documents from Cunningham, Morrissey and Hurley.”
This is expected news. By way of proof, and to further establish that once more, mere home-bound “bloggers” are ahead of the “Authorized Journalist” establishment media curve (with the exception of William La Jeunesse of Fox News, who just reported on this story in the last hour, albeit without mentioning Hurley—video is not yet available at this writing on the Fox News website) with all its highly-paid “professionals” and resources, consider that this paragraph, and everything that follows, was written before Issa’s announcement, and on hold pending receiving it to plug into the front end of this column.
“There are rumors floating about regarding the three Assistant U.S. Attorneys in Phoenix during the Fast and Furious clandestine operation, one of whom, Patrick Cunningham, has already resigned and claimed Fifth Amendment protections,” Mike Vanderboegh advised Sipsey Street Irregulars readers yesterday evening.
I am reliably informed by an investigation insider that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will have an announcement on this in the morning.
This was complemented by an email sent yesterday from Vanderboegh to committee staffers asking specifically about Hurley, Cunningham and Morrisey.
Why these three? It’s been a long time coming. Back in early September, La Jeunesse reported:
[Rep. Darrell] Issa and [Sen. Chuck] Grassley said they want to speak with [Emory] Hurley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Morrissey, along with Patrick Cunningham…
Cunningham is the Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, whose communications were subpoenaed by the Committee, stonewalling on voluntarily answering questions provoked the Committee to issue a subpoena compelling his testimony, and whose attorney then advised the Committee his client intends to exercise his right under the Fifth Amendment “not to be a witness against himself.” Chairman Darrell Issa responded by saying “We are still going to bring him forward.”
Further, Cunningham’s decision to invoke a self-incrimination refusal was the subject of a letter sent by Issa to Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday, in which he wrote:
The implication that Mr. Cunningham may have engaged in criminal conduct with respect to Fast and Furious is a major escalation of the Department’s culpability. The significance of these developments cannot be overstated, and this assertion raises many questions about ongoing criminal cases currently pending in federal court in Arizona—including prosecutions related to Fast and Furious.
Hurley is the Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, whose communications regarding Fast and Furious have also been subpoenaed by the Committee, and whose actions were cited in a letter by Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Issa because:
Witnesses have reported that AUSA Hurley may have stifled ATF agents’ attempts to interdict weapons on numerous occasions. Many ATF agents working on Operation Fast and Furious were under the impressions that even some of the most basic law enforcement techniques typically used to interdict weapons required the explicit approval of your office, specifically from AUSA Hurley. It is our understanding that this approval was withheld on numerous occasions…We have further been informed that AUSA Hurley improperly instructed ATF agents that they need to meet unnecessarily strict evidentiary standards merely in order to temporarily detain or speak with suspects.
Morrissey, also an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, likewise had his communications subpoenaed, and was a central figure in a grenadewalking operation, in which that office is alleged to have retaliated against a whistleblower, and in which its authorization for the plan appears to have been covered up:
This plan was discussed and given approval from the U.S. Attorney himself. However, after [Group Supervisor Peter] Forcelli’s testimony before Congress, he received a phone call from Michael Morrisey who advised him that his office’s position was that the USAO never authorized ATF to conduct a cross-border operation where grenade components crossed into Mexico. GS Forcelli, in turn, advised Mr. Morrissey of U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke’s e-mail authorizing said operation. Mr. Morrissey seemed surprised. It troubles GS Forcelli that a package was forwarded to the DAG’s Office summarizing this case which included a copy of a related e-mail but which left Mr. Burke’s authorizing e-mail out [emphasis added].”
That these three experienced officials in AG Holder’s Justice Department refuse to provide candid testimony about their roles in Fast and Furious puts the lie to the trivializing excuse tendered by President Obama that those involved with gunwalking to Mexico merely “screwed up.” It puts the lie to the opinion tendered by ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones that the appropriate remedies for holding people accountable are “personnel decisions.” The refusal by Justice to allow Morrissey to testify also provides all the proof any fair-minded observer should need that the Department is engaged in top-down directed cover-up.
The question anyone honest and not influenced by a political agenda should be investigating is “Which crimes does the evidence point toward having been committed?”
Which means expect Democrat Congressional interference runners and their lickspittle regressive press co-conspirators to continue ignoring, dismissing, ridiculing, misdirecting, outright lying, and renewing attacks on those seeking truth and justice.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at www.DavidCodrea.com.