Fast and Furious: And Now the Claim of Executive Privilege UPDATE: Holder in Contempt

by Crocker on June 20, 2012, 4:16 pm

in Law,Politics

For those who’ve been following the “Fast and Furious” gun walking scandal, you’ll know there’s been a tug of war between AG Holder and Congressman Issa’s committee concerning tens of thousands of undisclosed documents relating to the internal workings of the operation: about who knew what and when. This is precisely the type of oversight materials that an executive agency would automatically turn over to a congressional committee once subpoenaed. But Holder has released a few docs, lied about the rest and tried to negotiate the release of materials he should have turned over as a matter of course.

And now, facing a contempt citation, Hope ‘n Change has asserted Executive Privilege over the documents.

Which is very interesting. Ordinarily, Executive Privilege only applies to matters that the Executive – the President – was involved with and internal to the discussions between the President and his advisers concerning policy and the like. By asserting Executive Privilege, Hope ‘n Change is implicitly acknowledging that he was a part of the discussions, a fact that has been denied until now.

And now this matter is kicked into high gear and a constitutional showdown looms. While a president asserting the privilege is not particularly rare (both Clinton and Bush did so), this matter smells suspiciously like something, shall we say, out of the ordinary.

J. Christian Adams weighs in on the privilege. The equivalent, he says, of kicking off the NFL regular season.

Here’s an epic rant by Congressman Gowdy of South Carolina, a member of the Issa committee. Bugger Executive Privilege, he says. Go for the contempt citation anyway.

UPDATE: Committee finds Holder in contempt.

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