In testimony in front of Congress on May 3, 2011, Holder insisted he’d only heard of Operation Fast and Furious “a few weeks” before he testified; a story he later change to “a few months.” These emails strongly suggest that Holder was aware of Operation Fast and Furious within 48 hours of Brian Terry’s death, if he did not know already about the operation well before then from the memos he began receiving in July of 2010, six months before the firefight that ended Agent Terry’s life.
Holder’s expected appearance before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, February 2, is further complicated by the actions of Patrick Cunningham, the chief of the Phoenix office’s criminal division within the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona. Cunningham invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in an effort to avoid testifying in front of the Oversight Committee — you can only invoke the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination. The invocation makes it even less plausible for Holder to claim that DOJ was acting lawfully with the Operation. Cunningham resigned from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Friday, January 27.
Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa reserved the right to call Cunningham before the committee, and also indicated that he has informed Holder that he will seek a new witness to testify, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Morrissey. Morrissey directly reported to Cunningham.
Previously, the Department of Justice had refused to allow Morrissey or Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley (who reported to Morrissey) to testify.
Oversight’s renewed focus on the staff of the U.S. Attorney for Arizona’s office indicates that these officials may be the “weak links” in the cover-up. Oversight will apparently continue to focus on Cunningham, Morrissey, and Hurley, even as they grill Holder later this week.
Their former boss, Dennis Burke, is also undergoing renewed scrutiny. Burke’s 23-year career as the architect of anti-gun legislation lends credence to theories that Operation Fast and Furious and other alleged gun-walking operations were imposed by the Obama administration to help support the 90 percent lie. The 90 percent lie was a manipulation of gun trace data restated on numerous occasions by President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and other administration officials as they argued for more restrictions on gun sales. The claims seem particularly vicious and deceptive at this time, as we now know that the ATF was forcing gun dealers to supply cartel straw purchases with weapons.
Attorney General Holder’s stated intent to reimpose the “assault weapon ban” Burke authored during the Clinton presidency makes the connection between Burke’s past, the gun-walking plot, and Holder’s hopes of reinstating the ban even more suspect.