BREAKING: Obama’s Executive Privilege Keeps ‘Fast and Furious’ Documents In the Dark
BERT ATKINSON JR. JUNE 20, 2012 10:47 AM
Fox News is reporting that President Obama “has granted an 11th hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to invoke executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off a contempt vote against Holder by Republicans in the House.”
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is still expected to move on with its vote Wednesday to put Holder in contempt of Congress.
More coming shortly…
So much for being the most transparent administration ever…
This last-minute move by President Obama, to use his executive privilege over documents concerning ‘Operation Fast and Furious,’ is downright sickening.
“There’s been a tendency on the part of this administration to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there is something a little shaky that’s taking place, and I think the administration would be best served by coming clean on this.” – Sen. Barack Obama (D – Illinois), 2007.”
Just before a scheduled contempt vote, Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R – California)received a letter from a Justice Department official stating that President Obama’s executive privilege would be applicable to the documents. Just last night, Attorney General Eric Holder met with Issa in a failed attempt to reach an agreement in which Holder would turn over these documents. Issa told reporters after the 20-minute meeting that Holder briefed him on the documents, but provided nothing in writing.
“We want the documents. [Deceased Border Patrol agent] Brian Terry’s family would like the documents that are responsive to how in fact their son was gunned down with weapons that came from lawful dealers but at the behest of the Justice Department,” Issa said yesterday.
“The assertion of executive privilege raises monumental questions,” said Senator Chuck Grassley, a ranking Republican from Iowa on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “How can the president assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the president exert executive privilege over documents he’s supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it’s never repeated again.”
The less ‘wordy’ response: What the hell in those documents is so important that the President wants to hide?
As I type this (just after noon), Issa is forging on with plans for a committee vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. According to Fox News:
The announcement instantly touched off a caustic debate on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as Democrats accused Issa of prosecuting a “political witch hunt” and Republicans stepped up their criticism of Holder’s “stonewalling” over the Fast and Furious probe. Even for Washington, the tone at the hearing was decidedly bitter and accusatory.”
Issa simply said, “This untimely assertion by the Justice Department falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
Why are we even talking about this? If these documents say what Holder says they do, why wouldn’t he just turn them over? Eric Holder has now pulled President Obama into the situation that will now only serve to divide political Washington even further.
Mr. Holder, If the documents clear you, hand them over and make Republicans look stupid. If you can’t do that, you end up making yourself look guilty…very guilty.
Check back to IJReview.com for updates throughout the day.