The ABC15 Investigators have learned a top official in the US Attorney's Office District of Arizona has been subpoenaed to appear in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee next week in connection with the controversial ATF Fast and Furious case.
According to Chairman Darrell Issa, the subpoena issued to the Chief of the Criminal Division, Patrick Cunningham, requires him to appear in front of committee on January 24, 2012.
Issa sent Cunningham a letter , dated January 18, 2012, expressing his disappointment that Cunningham had not yet voluntarily testified in front of the committee.
"Yesterday, you canceled your interview scheduled with the Committee for Thursday, January, 19, 2012. As recently as last Friday, both your attorney and the Department of Justice had assured the Committee that you would submit to a voluntary interview and that you intended to cooperate with our investigation," the letter said.
"It is of paramount importance that you appear before the Committee….As a result of your recalcitrance and inflexible position, the Committee is now forced to engage in compulsory process to obtain your testimony," he wrote, explaining the subpoena.
In the letter, Issa expressed concern about Cunningham's role in the Fast and Furious case.
"[Senior Justice Department officials] told us that even after Congress began investigating Fast and Furious, you continued to insist that no unacceptable tactics were used," he wrote.
"Given that the Attorney General has labeled these tactics as unacceptable and Fast and Furious as ‘fundamentally flawed,' this position is startling."
The ABC15 Investigators contacted the US Attorney's office for a comment, but as of 12 pm Thursday had not received an official comment regarding the subpoena.
THE CASE HISTORY
In June, the ABC15 Investigators revealed documents showing guns connected to the Fast and Furious case turned up at drug-related crime scenes, including "large-scale" marijuana trafficking operations in Phoenix and Glendale.
The ABC15 Investigators also linked an additional 43 weapons , recovered during a Phoenix DEA traffic stop, to the case.
For months, Congressional investigators have been trying to determine who was responsible for developing the strategy that operated out of the Phoenix ATF field office.