House panel in gun probe subpoenas prosecutor

January 19, 2012 - 7:35 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee looking into the flawed gun smuggling investigation called Operation Fast and Furious has subpoenaed a federal prosecutor in Arizona for questioning.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Thursday that Patrick Cunningham repeatedly refused to testify voluntarily about his role in the operation that relied on a controversial law enforcement tactic designed to identify and prosecute major weapons traffickers.

According to Issa, the committee has information that Cunningham played a role in approving the tactic, which resulted in federal agents losing track of weapons that later ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S.

Cunningham, who is resigning effective Jan. 27 to take a job in the private sector, has been chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix for the past two years.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler declined to comment about the subpoena.