Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obama Asserts Exec. Privilege in "Fast & Furious" Investigation, GOP Head Explodes

Since Obama took office, two things have become clear:

1. the Right-Wing base really hates Obama as President, and
2. the Right-Wing base really hates Eric Holder as Attorney General

In fact, the only thing that the Right-Wing base hates more than Obama is Attorney General Holder.  (I wonder what these two guys have in common to draw such animosity?  Hmmmm...)  Take 5 minutes to peruse any conservative website and you will invariably find not-so-pleasant things being said about Holder and this so-called "Fast & Furious Scandal."  Very briefly, the Fast & Furious Scandal involves the U.S. government's decision to send guns into Mexican drug cartels in an attempt to track them.  Where things get sticky is that a federal agent was apparently killed by one of the aforementioned guns.  Not a good look for the feds as you can imagine.

The Right, believing that they've finally been given an opportunity to oust Eric Holder as Attorney General, have seized on this scandal.  Republican Darrell Issa has led a Congressional hearing in the House that is investigating this matter, and Eric Holder's files, among other things, have been subpoenaed for review. 

Enter the Executive Privilege.1

Per CNN:

President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, according to a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.
The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.
"I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents," Cole wrote in a letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.
...
Wednesday's development further heightened the drama of a high-profile showdown between Issa and Holder over the committee's demand for the Department of Justice to turn over more documents about the Fast and Furious program.
...
Cole noted that the lone point of dispute was whether the February 4,2011 letter was part of a broader effort to obstruct a congressional investigation.
"The answer to that question is an emphatic 'no' and we have offered the Committee the opportunity to satisfy itself that that is so," Cole wrote.
...
"Currently, (the Department of Justice) has not delivered or shown the committee any of the documents it has said it is prepared to produce," the statement continued. "It is not clear if they will actually produce these documents to the committee before the Wednesday vote to facilitate a postponement."
Holder, however, said he made an unprecedented offer of documents and a briefing to the committee, which so far has turned him down.
...
Issa has accused the attorney general of stonewalling an investigation into Fast and Furious and how the Justice Department provided Congress with erroneous information about it. The department says it already has handed over more than 7,000 pages of records to House investigators, and that the remaining material Issa wants could jeopardize criminal prosecutions.
1- Executive Privilege is a privilege invoked during the discovery phase of a litigation or, in this case, a Congressional hearing.  It is similar to the attorney-client privilege, husband-wife privilege, or doctor-patient privilege.  If a document or a conversation involves a privilege, then the law states that those documents and/or conversations do not have to be disclosed.


Is this much ado about nothing?
Is Attorney General Eric Holder the worst Attorney General EVER in the history of everything?
Is the Obama Administration trying to hide something here?
Is this another "We Demand To See the Long Form Birth Certificate" type scenario?
In your view, why is there so much animosity from the Right towards Eric Holder?


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