Monday, January 23, 2012

DOJ Discovers The Constitution

The United States Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder considers the Constitution to be an infinitely malleable document, subject to the whim of temporary majorities, Congress and the Chief Executive. But as of last week, it found one constitutional provision it considers cast in concrete. That would be the Fifth Amendment.

US Attorney Patrick J. Cunningham, deeply-involved in the Fast and Furious scandal, is invoking his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The Committee is looking into who is responsible for the gun-running operation which has ended up with thousands of weapons in the hands of Mexican criminal cartels and which has resulted in an unimaginable number of deaths in Mexico and that of a Border Agent inside America's borders.

Sooner or later, high-ranking members of criminal organizations such as the Mafia and the Department of Justice learn that lying only trips them up, while silence protected by the Constitution only makes them look guilty but can’t be used as proof of guilt. That certainly fits Cunningham, who is the chief of the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Field Office in Arizona. When you get caught flouting the law and end-running the Constitution, become a devotee of that selfsame Constitution.

Then, when your arse is showing as you get caught with your pants down, hire a savvy lawyer to blame the victims and the system. Use the Al Gore defense when El Rotundo was caught taking money from the cash box of Buddhist nuns: “I didn’t do it, and I’ll never do it again.” Cunningham’s lawyer says: “Department of Justice officials have reported to the Committee that my client relayed inaccurate information to the Department upon which it relied in preparing its initial response to Congress [on Operation Fast and Furious]. If, as you claim, Department officials have blamed my client, they have blamed him unfairly.” Deny the claim, then call the informants liars.

The lawyer even uses classic mob jargon. “The Department of Justice in Washington is making him the fall guy, claiming he failed to accurately provide the Oversight Committee with information on the execution of Fast and Furious.” Cunningham doesn’t even have the honor to fall on his sword and take the heat for the actions of his Capo, Eric Holder. So he attacks the Justice Department before it has even accused him of anything. Right now, the only ones pointing the finger of blame at him are Congressional investigators, some Committee members, and a lineup of witnesses. But not the Department itself.

Now Cunningham may find himself directly in line with that pointed finger from DOJ. He is soon going to find out how much honor Holder, Obama and the whole Democratic machine have. You won’t take a small hit for us? Then we will utterly destroy you, your family, and your reputation. You have fouled up our gun-grabbing, gun-running plan, and you will pay the price for trying to dirty our skirts!

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa says “The assertion of the Fifth Amendment by a senior Justice official is a significant indictment of the Department’s integrity in Operation Fast and Furious. The former head of the ATF has previously told the committee that the Justice Department is managing its response to Operation Fast and Furious in a manner designed to protect its political appointees. This is the first time anyone has asserted their Fifth Amendment right in this investigation and heightens concerns that the Justice Department’s motivation for refusing to hand over subpoenaed materials is a desire to shield responsible officials from criminal charges and other embarrassment.”

As tough as that statement is, it’s probably mild compared to what Cunningham has been threatened with by those same DOJ political appointees (including Holder himself) if he caves in somewhere along the line and refuses to take the fall for the unethical and vicious behavior of the out-of-control Justice Department.

At first, the Obama administration, with Holder as its front-man, claimed they were completely unaware of the “gunwalking” plot and had no knowledge of any of its details. Over the months since, huge piles of evidence and testimony have piled up that show those original statements to be outright lies. In order to protect their political skins, it became necessary to find someone in the Justice Department who could be blamed for keeping Holder and Obama in the dark about Fast and Furious. It’s a lame tactic, but it could become the focus on one individual that takes the spotlight off Holder and Obama long enough to get through the next election cycle. It looks like the designated sacrifice is Cunningham.

The “rogue agents” and “rogue Justice Department field office heads” theory simply reeks of unethical and perhaps criminal manipulation of facts and what Bill Clinton called the politics of personal destruction. Holder and Obama are pedaling like mad to distance themselves from this deadly scandal. Poor Cunningham is going to have to make a choice somewhere along the line. Face the possibility of serious legal sanctions against him and ‘fess up now, or wait, and risk the possibility of that plus the wrath of the Holder Justice Department. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, etc.

27 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

thanks for another great post, Hawk. My guess is Cunningham will cave on the seppeku thing in order to protect Holder and Obama. Sadly, Dem's always get away with it. Just look at the non-coverage of Fast & Furious to see why.

T-Rav said...

In a perfect world, we would have forty or fifty of these cases by now. This just makes me think back to the immediate aftermath of Obama's election, when some talking head on CBS rhapsodized about how the new President would be so much better than Bush, because he "will respect the rule of law." Yeah--lots of respect here.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, there's a point about political will embedded in that observation. I remember for at least the last four years of his presidency, there was a lot of "impeach Bush" talk, and I have no doubt they would have if there were anything to actually impeach him over rather than vague accusations of "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity."

Now we have a president and a justice department quite openly involved in activity that, if it isn't criminal, could only be so on a technicality. But very few dare to utter the "I" word--probably because it would be "perceived as racist."

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
Is any one surprised at this Administration and it's members?
There isn't a one with the Character to own their own faults. That applies from the top down.
That said it does look like trickle down works for this bunch.
I don't believe any of them have the desire to correct their faults either.
This behavior must be placed on the front burner and the heat kept on hi. Hopefully the pot will boil over and all of these ne'er do rights will burn.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: In the long run, I suspect that Cunningham will fall on his sword. But being a good Democrat it will be only after the professional shysters in the DOJ make him take the full blame in exchange for a penalty akin to jaywalking.

I still seethe when I think what they did to Scooter Libby for mistakenly remembering a minor fact during testimony about a CIA "leak" that didn't even matter. And I'll never forgive Bush for not granting Libby an immediate parrdon.

In this case, multiple mistakes have been made, human beings have died, the DOJ via Holder himself has outright lied to Congress, and one low-level lieutenant in Arizona will most likely get a light slap on the wrist.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: This administration is utterly lawless, from the President down. For the sycophants in the MSM, "doing good" and "fixing the government" trumps the law and the Constitution. Their view of "respecting the rule of law" was first formed by the Red Queen and Humpty Dumpty in Alice in Wonderland.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: They can't fix their faults or own up to them because they see their faults as virtue. These are the kind of slimebags that are the early members of governments that ultimately turn to repression and authoritarianism. They are "true believers" in the rightness of their cause and their need to govern despite the will of the people and constraining law. Rule by fiat and the Big Lie are the beginnings of totalitarianism.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I think what disturbs me most is that the Obamists are daily emboldened by the willingness of the MSM to twist, spin, and praise almost every action coming out of the White House and the DOJ. What used to be a free press is now just another part of the left wing of the Democratic Party and is particularly enthralled with Barack Obama and his minions. A change in form can become a change in substance. During the Clinton administration, the MSM largely worked with Clinton to cover up his multiple sins. Today, the MSM seems to work for Barack Obama in advancing his socialist agenda while covering up multiple breaches of the law and good governance.

tryanmax said...

LawHawk, it's still a free press. Obama doesn't need to pay them a dime.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I wish that weren't so true.

Koshcat said...

The fact he has his own lawyer (I assume it is his own personal lawyer) I think is a good sign. By telling him to shut up, the first and most important piece of advice any half-assed decent lawyer will give, means it will be more difficult for Holder and THE ONE to pressure him to take the fall. Time will tell, but I wouldn't be surprised if a deal doesn't materialize limiting his punishment for testimony, i.e. SOP for most instances like this.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: I can never fault a lawyer for giving his client the most basic of advice where criminal charges might be filed. What would be interesting would be if some kind of immunity agreement were reached allowing Cunningham to testify without possible criminal sanctions hanging over his head. I haven't given a lot of thought as to how that would affect his bar status, but he may have to face that issue separately whether he testifies or not.

AndrewPrice said...

Let's hope Issa can put all of this together well enough that they are forced to prosecute.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I'm with you 100%. My only worry is that this DOJ is so politicized and so scandal-ridden that Issa's committee will get lost in the wilderness of Obama-Holder lawlessness. If the committee worked full time on this administration's entire panoply of disregard for the law, the Constitution, human life and liberty it still couldn't handle it all before the November elections. I think they should concentrate on Fast and Furious and perhaps voting rights and let the rest stew until we've replaced this corrupt regime.

BevfromNYC said...

But Obama is not responsible for..well...anything. For him, the buck stops somewhere south of the Oval Office in Virginia or Maryland. You know, about where they are sending the wild rats to...

It's the fault of the Republicans because they didn't stop the DOJ and the ATF. If they'd just caved on gun control from the gitgo, this would never have been an issue. Oh, and it's Bush's fault because HIS DOJ and ATF thought of it first, but nixed the idea. Obama's DOJ would never have thought of it if Bush's DOJ hadn't thought of it first. And most importantly, if Bush's DOJ had just followed through, then the Obama's DOJ could do what they do best - Blame Bush.

Now my head hurts...

Patti said...

I'm watching the Showtime (HBO?!) Borgia series and thinking the only thing different between those days and these is we've gotten sneakier in killing folks. there's still the payoffs, the bribes, the schemers hoping to get ahead, the poisoning (mostly by pen and video) and i'm sure lots and lots of inappropriate sex.

the mob is alive and well, and it's headquarters is washington.

rlaWTX said...

Bev, that was some excellent,moonbat-mindbending!!! I think you need a drink or two after that...

BevfromNYC said...

rlaWTX - Thanks. It shows how much one can learn from HuffPo's commenters. Believe me, nothing I wrote was "made up". It is an amalgam of all that I read there...

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I don't know how much longer he can keep us this pretense of being above the fray, but he's done pretty well at it so far. Let's hope whoever becomes the Republican candidate can burst that bubble.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: Great. All we need now is an Obama Pope.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I have a friend and former employee in San Francisco who really seems to despise Obama and the leftists as well as fully supporting the military, but for some strange reason she's always sending me pieces from the HuffPo which are supportive of this administration. It makes no sense at all, but it scares me that she may be typical of the average American voter.

Patti said...

law: kiss the ring!

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: Only if he'll kiss my a%#. LOL

tryanmax said...

Law, it perplexes me, but I think you may be right. I don't have any friends in Frisco, but I know lots of people living in this blue blemish on an otherwise red state who are just like that.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: I'm truly mystified by it. She manages to send me articles about Obama that make mine look like gentle chiding, then sends me some dumbass HuffPo article about how brilliant Obama's decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is. It's like watching Faye Dunaway in Chinatown. SLAP My sister. SLAP My daughter. SLAP My sister. SLAP My daughter.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
I was in the six item express lane at the store quietly fuming.
Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the check-out line pushing a cart piled high with groceries.
Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward looked into the cart and asked sweetly,
'So which six items would you like to buy?'

Wouldn't it be great if that happened more often?

This is an exact exemplification of where we have moved to.
That woman had to be a DEM.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: That was a very clever way for the clerk to put the woman down. Now I suppose she still bought all the goods in the cart, even if she had to move to a different lane. And I'm almost willing to bet she paid for all or the majority of it with a "get your food for free" electronic food stamp card.

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