Ed Morrissey at Hot Air noted in a post today that Patrick J. Cunningham, the chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, has said that he will seek Fifth Amendment protection when testifying before Congress.
Representative Darrell Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee conducting the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, made the following statement in response to Mr. Cunningham’s claim that he would plead the Fifth Amendment:
“The assertion of the fifth amendment by a senior Justice official is a significant indictment of the Department’s integrity in Operation Fast and Furious. The former head of the ATF has previously told the committee that the Justice Department is managing its response to Operation Fast and Furious in a manner designed to protect its political appointees. This is the first time anyone has asserted their fifth amendment right in this investigation and heightens concerns that the Justice Department’s motivation for refusing to hand over subpoenaed materials is a desire to shield responsible officials from criminal charges and other embarrassment.
“Coming a year after revelations about reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious were first brought to light, the assertion of the fifth amendment also raises questions about whether President Obama and Attorney General Holder have made a serious and adequate response to allegations raised by whistleblowers. Did Attorney General Holder really not know a senior Justice Department official fears criminal prosecution or is this just another example of him hiding important facts? The committee will continue to demand answers.”
Unfortunately, Chicago politics has come to Washington, D. C. The investigation into Fast and Furious is moving ahead–but very slowly. President Obama’s Department of Justice is a political tool being wielded by the administration. The only way to end that is to vote this administration out of office.