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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Fast and Furious: Democrats Break Ranks to Join Contempt Vote Tomorrow
By News Release @ 2:08 PM :: 4865 Views :: National News, Ethics

Either White House Involved or Executive Privilege Doesn't Apply

Ahead of Contempt Vote, Issa Blasts Growing White House Obstruction

From Rep Daryl Issa (R-CA), US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

"Dear Mr. President,

On June 19, 2012, shortly after leaving a meeting in the U.S. Capitol, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to request that you assert executive privilege with respect to Operation Fast & Furious documents he is withholding from this Committee. The next Day, Deputy Attorney General James Cole notified me in a letter that you had invoked executive privilege. The Committee received both letters minutes before the scheduled start of a vote to recommend that the full House hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with its subpoena.

Courts have consistently held that the assertion of the constitutionally-based executive privilege - the only privilege that ever can justify the withholding of documents from a congressional committee by the Executive Branch - is only applicable with respect to documents and communications that implicate the confidentiality of the President's decision-making process, defined as those documents and communications to and from the President and his most senior advisors. Even then, it is a qualified privilege that is overcome by a showing of the committee's need for the documents. The letters from Messrs. Holder and Cole cited no case law to the contrary. 

Accordingly, your privilege assertion means one of two things. Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the Attorney General to the Committee, or, you are asserting a Presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation. To date, the White House has steadfastly maintained that it has not had any role in advising the Department with respect to the congressional investigation. The surprising assertion of executive privilege raised the question of whether that still is the case.
 

Read the Case for Holding AG Holder in Contempt over Fast & Furious

FACT SHEET Fast and Furious & Holder Contempt

VIDEO Holder vs the White House: Who Is Accountable?

VIDEO: Speaker Boehner on Holder Contempt

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