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Federal official in Arizona to plead the fifth and not answer questions on 'furious'


The chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico.

Patrick J. Cunningham informed the House Oversight Committee late Thursday through his attorney that he will use the Fifth Amendment protection.

Cunningham was ordered Wednesday to appear before Chairman Darrell Issa and the House Oversight Committee regarding his role in the operation that sent more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa Cartel. Guns from the failed operation were found at the murder scene of Border Agent Brian Terry.

The letter from Cunningham’s Washington DC attorney stunned congressional staff. Last week, Cunningham, the second highest ranking U.S. Attorney in Arizona, was scheduled to appear before Issa‘s committee voluntarily. Then, he declined and Issa issued a subpoena. 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

I don't see how any government official--and one who is a member of a Bar--can plead the Fifth unless they are waiving their immunity of acting under color of law.  They either were working "for us" in our name at the time and are subject to interrogation and reply from our "Representatives," or were acting as private citizens at the time with the Right to remain silent.