“Fast and Furious” scandal goes “full Watergate,” White House asserts Executive Privilege — UPDATED

Posted by: Phineas on June 20, 2012 at 10:56 am

**Posted by Phineas

“I am not a crook!!”

Shades of Richard Nixon. Faced with a contempt of Congress citation for failure to produce subpoenaed documents, Attorney General Eric Holder apparently went to his boss, President Obama, and asked for a little cover.

He got it:

President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off a contempt vote against Holder by Republicans in the House.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to forge ahead with its meeting on the contempt resolution anyway.

This is a slap in the face to the committee and practically guarantees a contempt vote. I’m willing to bet it will backfire on the Obama administration, too; anyone who remembers the Nixon years, when executive privilege was abused to hide administration culpability in the Watergate scandal, will now be asking a simple question: “What have they got to hide?” Or, as Gabe Malor put it on Twitter this morning:

Yesterday, I didn’t believe there was anything in the F&F docs worth hiding. Today, I’m absolutely convinced there is.

Chairman Issa, meanwhile, has said the committee plans to move forward with the contempt vote.

That’s well and good, and it may be a necessary preliminary step, but impeachment of the Attorney General must now be a serious consideration. I haven’t really thought this worthwhile up to now, since we’re so close to the election, and the chances of conviction in the Senate were minimal, but the House must defend its legitimate authority to investigate and hold accountable the government it funds with the money of the people it represents. This assertion of privilege is wholly unjustified and an abuse of a doctrine meant to preserve the ability of the president and his cabinet officers to receive unguarded advice or preserve classified information.

Two US federal officers and over 300 Mexicans have been killed with weapons provided under Fast and Furious, and their survivors and the American and Mexican public deserve answers.

If a contempt citation doesn’t work, then it’s time to impeach Eric Holder.

RELATED: Other posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

via ST

PS: And let’s not forget that supplying arms to armed groups fighting the Mexican government is by most reasonable understandings an act of war. Are we at war with Mexico, Mr. President?

LINKS: Lots of people covering this — Pirate’s Cove, Michelle Malkin, The PJ Tatler, Ace of Spades, Jammie Wearing Fool, Erika Johnsen, Ed Morrissey, Legal Insurrection, Breitbart, and Obi’s Sister.

UPDATE: Wanted to pull this directly from the linked Tatler post; it has important implications:

In the landmark case that spells out presidential executive privilege, United States vs Nixon (1974), the Supreme Court found that executive privilege pertains to communications directly with the president, and otherwise limited the scope of executive privilege. Today’s move by the White House implies either that Fast and Furious reaches directly into the Oval Office, or that the White House is challenging the Nixon ruling. Either way, today’s assertion is a major escalation of the scandal.

So, Mr. President. Are you admitting you knew all about Operation Fast and Furious all along?

UPDATE II: A couple of great informational posts from Gabriel Malor relevant to today’s news, one on contempt of Congress and the other on executive privilege.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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20 Responses to ““Fast and Furious” scandal goes “full Watergate,” White House asserts Executive Privilege — UPDATED”


  1. BeeKay says:

    “most transparent administration evah!” /sarc

    Fast and Furious is the US Government aiding and abetting the providing of guns to Mexican drug cartels who then use those guns to kill innocent civilians by the hundreds and overthrow the Mexican government.

    This is an ACT OF WAR and a WAR CRIME by Holder and Obama. 300 dead Mexicans is a war crime.

    Meanwhile the conservative media is silent on this point. Nobody has called it for what it is: A WAR CRIME.

  2. Sefton says:

    I’m willing to bet it will backfire on the Obama administration

    Phineas, I hope so. But I’m beginning to wonder if Obama either 1) knows he will lose in November and is now playing all his power cards, “going out with a bang” as it were or 2) actually thinks he can survive this and anything else he plans on using executive privilege on.

    The first option is scary on its own, but the second will dictate just how far the progressives have come. I think he believes he has enough of the sycophant media and his own case of NPD to carry out his ultimate goal of “transformation”.

    He really believes he has dictatorial powers now (what Constitution?); that enough people will allow this; and that he’s untouchable.

  3. Westie says:

    Don’t forget the F&F files also tag the US State Dept exportation of military weapons as well as the FBI’s knowledge and lies about F&F. Who knows where this may lead as Obama will be forced to do a major CYA. Frickin F&F Gate!

  4. Drew the Infidel says:

    Invoking executive privilege in this situation is the equivalent of trying to put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it. I realize exective privilege was to protect classified information but what in this is admistration is classified? They have declassified practically everything by shooting off their collective mouths.

  5. Papa Whiskey says:

    Fast and Furious was an attempt by Obama and Holder to “salt” the Mexican crime scene with American-bought weapons, much as hustlers used to “salt” worthless mines with gold so they could sell them to the credulous at inflated prices. What Obama and Holder wanted to sell was a draconian gun-control law, to “help” Mexico’s fight against the cartels.

  6. Gravelagitator says:

    F&F is exactly what obama was talking about when he assured Sarah Brady that he was working on gun control “under the radar”. He has had full details of the operation all along. In a sane world there would be a prison cell waiting for these two thugs.

  7. Taxpayer says:

    Backing Holder and OZero into a corner: Issa, you’re doin’ it AWESOME!!!=))

  8. Drew the Infidel says:

    A famous psychiatrist died and went to Heaven. St. Peter met him at the gates and started his initial interview. “What did you do on earth?”
    The psychiatrist answered, “I was world-renowned and a Nobel Prize winner in the field of psychiatry.”
    “Oh!”, exclaimed St. Peter. “Maybe you can help us; God thinks He is Barack Obama.”

  9. Bill G says:

    Dunno about “Contempt of Congress”, but Bam-Bam sure has a lot of contempt for congress.
    And the American people.

  10. observation says:

    Would Obama rather be impeached and leave office by that means instead of being voted out? It would make him look like a martyr by opening the door for the theory of “racist persecution of first black President” for the rest of our nation’s existence.

    I think he might find that scenario soothing and rewarding compared to just being beaten in an election. Certainly, his racist supporters would find it fodder for their need for perpetual victimhood.

  11. john b says:

    “…over 300 Mexicans have been killed with weapons…” I wonder, does Mehican Pres. calderon approve of this?

  12. Carlos says:

    From Yahoo! news: “From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later,” Holder said in his statement after the committee voted.

    This from the President’s right-hand man, whose boss was famous for saying such things as, “I don’t have all the facts in this case but…” and then convicted an entire police force of abuse! Gimme a break.

    And to observation (#11): That’s the upside for Duh-1. The downside for the American people is that Slo Joe would become president.