theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obama invokes executive privilege; House panel moves forward with Holder ...

   This has to be the final straw by a corrupted Department of Justice that does everything  possible to withhold the truth, add to it a Senate that passes legislation on Health Care without reading it, and a President so impressed by himself that either he has lost touch with the American public, or just doesn't give a damn. Obama and Eric Holder need to call Brian Terry's family and apologize. We all could have had a son that would look like Brian Terry!
theodore miraldi

Eric Holder asks President Obama to exert executive privilege

By and Peter Wallsten, Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 1:05 PM
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 between over the extent of presidential power that may take months to resolve.
Holder 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.
In response, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who led Wednesday’s hearing to review the contempt charges, said he learned of Obama’s decision early Wednesday and believes the move “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
If the House committee cites Holder for criminal contempt, it would open a process that would require House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to schedule a floor vote. If passed by the full House, the matter would then move to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen Jr., who is an employee of the Justice Department.
Holding an Executive Branch official in criminal contempt is rare, having occurred roughly a dozen times in the last 40 years. Usually, administration officials have cited executive privilege in refusing to share information, but eventually turn over requested documents before congressional committees reach the final stages of contempt proceedings, according to the CRS.
The attorney general attempted to stave off Wednesday's vote by meeting late Tuesday with leaders of the House oversight and Senate Judiciary committees to strike a deal that would have Justice hand over requested documents in exchange for the House panel dropping its plans to vote on contempt charges. But Issa declined the offer.
“If the Justice Department had delivered the documents they freely admitted they could have delivered, we wouldn't be here today,” he said at the start of Wednesday's hearing.

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