The Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives announced today that Patrick Cunningham, Chief of the Criminal Division of the Office of the Federal Attorney in Arizona, cited to appear in Congress on ‘Fast and Furious.’
Committee Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, said he was forced to quote the official mandatory, because he refused to testify voluntarily before the legislature on the operation of illegal movement of arms to Mexico.
‘In the course of our inquiry, the Committee has learned of the vast role played by the Office of the Attorney General of Arizona and you specifically approved the unacceptable tactics for Fast and Furious’, Issa wrote to Cunningham.
‘Senior officials of the Department of Justice Committee recently revealed that you communicated inaccurate and misleading information to the Department in preparation for its initial response to Congress’, topped Issa.
During previous hearings, the Oversight Committee had accused Obama administration officials to distort information about the failed operation, in the sense that he had never authorized the tactic of ‘make way’ assault weapons into Mexico.
Cunningham, Issa claimed to have maintained this position even after the tactics used in “Fast and Furious’ were repudiated by the very Attorney General Eric Holder.
The subpoena requires Cunningham to appear before the Committee for a confidential oral deposition on 24 January. As part of the investigation, Holder himself was summoned to appear, in this case publicly before Congress in February detailing his responsibility for the controversial operation. Holder will be questioned by lawmakers about the ‘poor administration’ who committed the Department of Justice in connection with the operation, according to the Committee.
The Committee will also seek to determine whether Justice Department officials lied deliberately in a letter to Congress on February 4, 2010 in which he denied the existence of the operation supervised smuggling guns into Mexico.
On December 8, before the Judiciary Committee, Holder publicly acknowledged that the Justice Department offered to Congress Inaccurate reporting on “Fast and Furious’ and accepted that he has the final responsibility for the ‘failed’ operation.
While Holder said these lapses were not intentional, but the result of errors in the initial verification of the information which formed the basis for sent letters to legislators, the official was lambasted by Republicans.
The operation ‘Fast and Furious’, which allowed the entry of more than two thousand guns into Mexico, is also the subject of a separate investigation of the inspector general of the Department of Justice.
Just last November the existence of another operation was announced, ‘Wide Receiver’, in which 350 weapons from 2006 to 2007 went to Mexico during the administration of former President George W.Bush