Now Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder have Arizona U.S. Attorney Michael Morrissey testify before Committee investigators about his role in Operation Fast and Furious, an operation in which the ATF told gun-store owners to sell firearms to known gun smugglers.
Morrissey’s supervisor, Patrick Cunningham, has said he will plead the Fifth if he testifies. This threat is extremely rare is such investigations. A press release from Rep. Issa’s press says it “suggests possible criminal culpability on the part of a high ranking Justice Department official.”
In fact, Rep. Issa says, “Since August, the Department has identified Patrick Cunningham as the best person in the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide information about Fast and Furious to the Committee. The Department has refused to make Michael Morrissey and Emory Hurley, both Assistant United States Attorneys supervised by Mr. Cunningham, available to speak with the Committee, citing a policy of not making ‘line attorneys’ available for congressional scrutiny. Mr. Morrissey, however, was Mr. Hurley’s direct supervisor, and an integral part of Fast and Furious.”
Attorney General Holder is due to appear before the Oversight Committee on Operation Fast and Furious on February 2.