Pleading the Fifth: Gunwalker Witness Refuses to Testify
Recall that invoking the Fifth Amendment is only allowed to avoid self-incrimination.
January 20, 2012 - 10:37 am
Cunningham’s defense seeks to portray him as an innocent man caught in a conflict between the legislative and executive branches of government. He also seems to be the designated “fall guy” in the Obama administration’s recent tactical shift.
Previously, administration officials claimed they were unaware of the gunwalking plot and had no involvement in it. That excuse fell apart when evidence was presented that Deputy Attorney General Gary Grindler, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, ATF Director Kenneth E. Melson, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota/Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee/Acting ATF Director B. Todd Jones, and the top federal prosecutors in the Southwestern border states were all privy to information about Operation Fast and Furious.
The administration has since shifted to what can only be described as an “incompetence defense,” where they are asserting that rogue Phoenix operatives initiated the massive gunwalking plot without their supervisors in Washington, D.C., knowing anything about it — even as the “rogue” agents worked across directorships with DOJ, DHS, the IRS, and the required authorization of the State Department.
Attorney General Eric Holder’s defense seems to hinge upon the theory that he’s a detached boss more interested in pursuing heavily politicized racial justice schemes than enforcing the law or knowing what his direct reports are engaged in. One has to wonder about how serious the criminal crimes are that the attorney general is attempting to avoid by claiming gross incompetence.
It will be interesting to see if an immunity arrangement can be worked out for Mr. Cunningham so that he can share what he knows about Operation Fast and Furious.