Wednesday, June 20, 2012

As Holder (and Obama) Run for Cover Executive Privilege Is Invoked...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

So much for transparency in what was to be a transparent administration. I have no issue with the use of executive privileged when invoking it is for, say national security reasons. Somehow this time it just seems to look like, walk like, and quack like a CYA move for Holder and the Obama administration.

The Washington Post - President Obama asserted executive privilege over documents related to the “Fast and Furious” operation Wednesday as a House panel moved to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for failing to cooperate with a related congressional inquiry.

The president’s decision to withhold the documents, his first use of executive privilege, and the House panel’s anticipated contempt citation quickly intensified a long-simmering feud between the White House and Republican lawmakers and set up a clash over the extent of presidential power that may take months to resolve.

Sharing the “Fast and Furious” documents “would raise substantial separation of powers concerns and potentially create an imbalance in the relationship” between Congress and the White House, Holder wrote in a letter to Obama delivered late Tuesday.

Releasing the documents “would inhibit candor of such Executive Branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the Executive Branch’s ability to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight,” Holder added.

Executive privilege has been invoked throughout U.S. history by presidential administrations to preserve the confidentiality of information in the face of legislative inquiries. The privilege is qualified, not absolute, and can be overturned in courts. But disputes over access to information rarely reach the courts and are most often resolved through political negotiations, according to the Congressional Research Service. {Read More}

More on this growing scandal and apparent cover up by the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder from PowerLine.

With the House of Representatives poised to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, President Obama has granted Holder’s request to assert executive privilege in refusing to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious scandal. This won’t insulate Holder from being held in contempt. Rather, the White House presumably hopes the assertion will improve Holder’s position if/when his dispute with the House reaches the judicial system.

In requesting that Obama assert executive privilege, Holder said he is “very concerned that the compelled production to Congress of internal Executive Branch documents generated in the course of the deliberative process concerning its response to congressional oversight would have significant and damaging consequences.” This, he added, “would raise substantial separation of powers concerns and potentially create an imbalance in the relationship” between Congress and the White House.”

Holder has reason to be concerned. Rep. Issa’s Committee wants to find out whether, as part of its “deliberative process,” the Department of Justice engaged in a cover-up, including knowingly making false statements to the Commmittee, about the scandalous Fast and Furious program. To the extent that DOJ is discovered through its own documents to have done so, Holder and the administration would face significant and damaging consequences. {Read More}

We'll have to wait and see how it all shakes out. Certainly the phrase "Imperial Presidency" comes to mind.

Via: Memeotrandum


Mark Levin talking on his Facebook page hit the nail squarely on the head.

Executive Privilege and how the House should move forward legally
by Mark Levin on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 5:41pm ·

As the Supreme Court recognized in US v. Nixon, the Executive Branch has a legitimate interest in confidentiality of communications among high officials so that the President can have the benefit of candid advice. However, as President Washington himself recognized, that privilege does not protect the President or his underlings from embarrassment or public exposure for questionable actions.

As the Supreme Court has also recognized repeatedly, the Congress, in the exercise of its constitutional powers, has the essential power to investigate the actions of the Executive Branch.

In this case, the exercise of Executive Privilege seems, in its timing and over-inclusiveness, to be nothing less than a political delaying tactic to prevent exposure of wrongdoing and incompetence that resulted in the murder of a American law enforcement agent and injury and death of many others. Further, a wholesale claim of privilege is facially improper: the President should be held to the standard that anyone claiming privilege is held to: identify each document in a log so that privilege can be disputed. (U.S. v. Nixon, 1974)

Because among the categories of documents sought are all those relating to the recantation by Holder of testimony before Congress, the demand goes to the core of the Congressional power under Article I. In this respect, this is not a general or oversight inquiry but a determination of why the Attorney General of the United States testified falsely before Congress about his own knowledge of a federal program. Presumptively, none of this category of documents is protected by Executive Privilege for wrongdoing per se is not protected by the privilege.

The right way to proceed is to hold Holder in contempt by resolution of the House and seek authorization from the House for the Committee, by its Chairman, to proceed by civil action to compel production of the documents. (Holder will not enforce a holding of contempt against himself -- and by the way, he should have authorized, say, the assistant attorney general for legal counsel, to handle the contempt matter once the House voted as at that point he is representing his own interests and not those of the nation generally). Chairman Issa should file suit in federal court in DC and seek expedited action. There is no need for Senate action. The use of this procedure has been acknowledged by the Congressional Research Service in a 2007 study. Further, a privilege log should be sought by Issa and ordered produced immediately by the court, in camera inspection done promptly by the judge, and a final order entered compelling production of all documents for which no legitimate reason justifies Executive Privilege. {Read More}

Via: Memeorandum


  1. This is politics in a presidential election year.
    Like Obama with his immigration announcement.
    It's impossible to know the truth given the lies coming from both sides.
    This is one of those things people should wait to hear more evidence before they make up their minds about it.
    But they won't, especially the Republicans.

    1. You may be right. Republicans do have the most to gain here, in the short term. The people of this democratic republic reap the long term gain if Holder, and Obama by extension, goes down.

      Republicans, at least as they exist as a party are going to be history. Replaced by classical liberalism/conservatism of the 21st century.


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